Harassment case puts US Senate candidate under spotlight

By KATHLEEN RONAYNE

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- A sexual harassment investigation into a sitting California senator is putting a fresh spotlight on a state legislative leader who is running for a U.S. Senate seat. 

California Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon heads the committee in charge of overseeing workplace complaints and shares a house with Sen. Tony Mendoza, the lawmaker accused of misconduct. De Leon is also in the middle of a campaign to unseat U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the first woman California sent to the Senate. 

De Leon says he didn't know about the investigation into Mendoza. The fellow Democrat is accused of asking a young woman who worked in his office through a fellowship program to come to his house. Mendoza says he would not abuse his authority.

The allegations of harassment and retaliation are illuminating the California Senate's murky processes for investigating its own members.
 

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