Four women, including an Orange County supervisor, have accused Assemblyman William Brough (R-Dana Point) of unwanted touching and other misconduct.
The allegations came to light last week, when Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett spoke out against an endorsement for Brough at an Orange County Republican Party meeting and claimed she’d had a negative encounter with the lawmaker. In an interview with The Times, Bartlett said Brough propositioned and “attacked” her at an official event in 2011 when they were both on the Dana Point City Council.
Three other women, who spoke to The Times on condition of anonymity citing fear of reprisal, have also alleged that Brough made unwanted advances toward them. One woman, a governmental affairs manager who filed a 2017 complaint against Brough with the Assembly Rules Committee, alleged that Brough propositioned her in a Sacramento hotel lobby. An Assembly investigation later found Brough did not violate Assembly policy. And a former Assembly staffer and former lobbyist claim that the legislator sexually harassed them in separate incidents in Capitol-area bars and implied he could help their careers if they obliged his overtures.
Brough, who is married, denies the claims, calling them a “coordinated effort of unsubstantiated allegations” that are politically motivated by rancor over his attempts to rein in a local toll road agency. He introduced a bill earlier this year that would have curtailed the powers of Orange County’s Transportation Corridor Agencies to build new roads and bridges but later pulled it, saying he would seek an audit instead.
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