An Assembly investigation has determined that Assemblyman Devon Mathis made explicit remarks at work, including about his colleagues, violating the Legislature's policy on sexual harassment. But investigators did not corroborate allegations of sexual misconduct made last fall against the Visalia Republican.
In a heavily redacted letter dated June 20, and released to the media on Wednesday, the Assembly Rules Committee told Mathis that its investigation substantiated a complaint that he "frequently engaged in sexual 'locker room talk,' including making sexual comments about fellow Assemblymembers."
An Assembly spokesman said Mathis will be required to complete sensitivity training with an outside expert, participate in sessions with a legislative counseor and take additional training on the Assembly's sexual harassment policy.
Mathis, in a statement, suggested that he had been vindicated, noting that the investigation "found no wrongdoing of any sexual misconduct."
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Sacramento police and the Legislature began investigating Mathis last fall, after a Southern California blogger publicly accused him of misconduct with an unnamed legislative staff member after an evening on the fundraising circuit.
In a post on his website, Joseph Turner, a conservative activist who runs a nationalist, anti-immigration advocacy group, detailed the alleged incident and attributed the account to two anonymous sources.
The Sacramento Police Department closed its investigation in November. A spokeswoman said at the time that detectives were "unable to substantiate that a crime occurred."
"The locker-room conversation referenced in the letter, that took place almost four years ago, was wrong and something for which I have previously apologized and do so again," Mathis added. "I am pleased that this matter is now complete so I can devote my full attention to serving the 26th Assembly District."
Mathis was also sued in May by a former staff member who said she was the victim of "severe sexual harassment and bullying" by Mathis and a fellow staffer. He dismissed the lawsuit as the work of "disgruntled former employees" trying to hurt him politically.