FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, October 1, 2018
Contact: Brian Harrington 253.273.3292
In case you missed it, North Orange County Assemblywoman accused of coercion, intimidation, and retaliation to alleged victims of sexual assault.
Dr. Alexandria Coronado Releases Official Statement Regarding Opponent and Assemblywoman Quirk-Silva’s Allegations of Retaliation From Former Staffer
ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. – “If Sharon Quirk-Silva engaged in tactics of coercion, intimidation, and retaliation to silence alleged victims of sexual assault, she should immediately resign from the Assembly. Voters deserve to know whether or not a candidate could end up being taken away in handcuffs before they go to the ballot box. Quirk-Silva owes the public nothing short of full transparency as it relates to the allegations, events, and individuals involved in this situation.” – Dr. Alexandria Coronado
“A former legislative staffer filed a legal claim against the state on Friday accusing two Southern California assemblywomen of steering contracts away from his political consulting business in retaliation for sexual harassment allegations he leveled against one of the legislators earlier this year.
Daniel Fierro, who in February accused Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens) of drunkenly groping him at a Sacramento softball game in 2014, now says Garcia and Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva (D-Fullerton) punished him by dissuading other politicians from hiring his firm. In his claim, he says he will seek $1 million in damages.
Both assemblywomen denied the allegations in prepared statements issued Friday.
The Assembly Rules Committee is investigating the accusations as part of a probe into Fierro’s original complaint against Garcia, according to a letter Fierro received in August. That letter states the committee hired an attorney to conduct the investigation. Quirk-Silva’s campaign spokesman confirmed Friday that the assemblywoman had been contacted as part of the expanded inquiry.
Fierro’s claim accuses assembly members Garcia and Quirk-Silva, as well as Quirk-Silva’s husband, Fullerton councilman Jesus Silva, of attempting to silence Fierro by pressuring local candidates seeking elected office not to hire his political consulting firm. Silva did not return a call for comment.
The claim describes efforts by Quirk-Silva and Silva to persuade Fullerton City Council candidate Ahmad Zahra to drop Fierro as his campaign consultant. According to the claim, Silva expressed concern during a face-to-face meeting on June 14 that Zahra had hired Fierro, saying “We’re strong supporters of Cristina.” Two days later, at a community event, Quirk-Silva directed Zahra to fire Mr. Fierro, making it clear such a move would be in his “best political interests,” the claim states.
Zahra told the Los Angeles Times that Quirk-Silva said at that meeting to “get rid of him,” but didn’t mention Fierro by name, or bring up the sexual harassment complaint against Garcia. Reached by phone on Friday, Zahra refused to answer questions.
Fierro also alleged that he may have lost a public relations contract with the ABC Unified School District in Cerritos due to his complaint against Garcia.
Fierro this year accused Garcia of grabbing his buttocks and attempting to touch his crotch following an after-hours Sacramento softball game while he was a staffer for another legislator in 2014. Fierro came forward in February after Garcia began advocating for the “#metoo” movement.
“Garcia was given special treatment, being a woman accused of sexual misconduct, including being allowed to return to work after the initial investigation was complete,” the claim said.
“The California State Assembly is employing a gender bias in its investigation of Mr. Fierro’s claim and in its treatment and lack of scrutiny of … Garcia. This bias is seemingly unwilling to view Mr. Fierro as a victim and … Garcia as a predator.”
Both Quirk-Silva and Garcia are running for re-election in November.”