California Democrat Leader Appeals for Alcohol Abuse Treatment Following Allegations of Sexual Misconduct

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By Dennis Romero

California Democratic Party President Eric Bauman, already on leave following a recent investigation into sexual misconduct, announced Wednesday that he would seek treatment for alcoholism.

The announcement was a response to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct published by the Los Angeles Times earlier in the day. Among the accusers is a woman who said she was working temporarily for the party during the election period when Bauman asked her if she and another worker were sleeping together.

"I felt really embarrassed, almost ashamed and uncomfortable," Leekley told The Times. "I am basically a qualified staff member who is at the bottom of the ladder – and he is the most powerful man in the party."

The charges were reported as the State party's influence ran a wave of celebrations following a landmark event in Orange County in mid-term elections in November. Once the cornerstone of the GOP, the county is now fully represented by congressional Democrats.

Without affirming or denying the allegations, Bauman said in a statement: "I deeply regret if my behavior caused suffering to any of the outstanding personalities with whom I had the privilege of working." I appreciate the courage they have shown to come forward to tell their stories. "

"I will use the time I have to immediately seek medical intervention to treat serious and persistent health problems, as well as to begin treatment for what I now know to be an alcohol problem."

Last year, while Bauman was campaigning for his post, he was accused of having behaved inappropriately with teenagers. At the time, Bauman, the party's first openly gay president, said he was "scandalized" by the accusations.

The party's vice president, Daraka Larimore-Hall, first evoked the last group of allegations and called Bauman to resign.

Associated press contributed.

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