Top California Democrat says he'll seek alcohol treatment

California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman, who is on leave in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations, said he'll seek treatment for alcohol abuse and other health issues.

Bauman's statement was first made to the Los Angeles Times in response to an article citing 10 people, some anonymous, describing crude comments and inappropriate physical touching by Bauman, including asking two young women if they were sexually involved.

Bauman took a leave of absence Monday after announcing an investigation into allegations against him over the weekend. Party vice chairman Daraka Larimore-Hall accused Bauman of sexual harassment and assault against unnamed victims last week.

The turmoil comes as California Democrats enjoy sweeping victories in the midterm elections, when they captured Orange County seats long held by Republicans and furthered their grip on total power in the state Legislature.

Bauman narrowly won the party chairmanship in early 2017 and is the party's first openly gay chairman.

 

Dawn Kamber