Republicans in Orange County are in chaos after allegations of sexual harassment surfaced at a GOP endorsement meeting.
“As Orange County Republicans considered a 2020 endorsement last week for Assemblyman Bill Brough, R-Dana Point, one local official made a surprising public declaration,” the Sacramento Bee reported Monday. “County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett accused Brough of making unwanted sexual advances during their time together on the Dana Point City Council.”
“I couldn’t move,” Bartlett recalled in an interview. “I didn’t know who it was at first. It really startled me, then I realized it was Bill. I remember looking up at him and saying, ‘What are you doing? Let go of me.’ He wouldn’t let go and said something to the effect of, ‘Let’s get out of here. Let’s go get a drink and do something.’ And I just kept saying, ‘Let go of me, Bill. Let go of me.’”
“It’s not politically motivated,” Bartlett said. “It simply isn’t. It’s something that I never even really wanted to talk about. … But if it will effect change in the positive direction to help save other women from encountering Bill Brough’s behavior, then, to me, it’s worth it.”
That allegation resulted in a second woman coming forward with accusations against Brough.
“Maria Elena Banks, a Laguna Beach real estate agent who worked on campaigns for Bartlett and Brough, said Brough harassed her about five years ago before he was sworn into the state Assembly in 2014,” the newspaper reported.
“I removed his hand, and I said, ‘Bill, no, you are married,’” she said. said. “He says, ‘Well, do you want to go to your house?’ And I say, ‘Are you serious?’ I just kind of said that’s not happening, so he never did another attempt on me.”
And there’s another allegation by an unnamed woman.
“A third woman submitted a complaint with the California Assembly. The details of the complaint remain closed to the public, as the Assembly Rules Committee has yet to respond to a Public Records Act request for documents about cases of alleged harassment involving Brough,” the Bee reported.