Campaign manager for Orange County congressional candidate resigns following sexual harassment allegations


The campaign manager for Orange County congressional challenger Phil Janowicz resigned last week following allegations he had sexually harassed women while working as a top official with the Democratic Party of Orange County.

Erik Taylor, who had worked for Janowicz’s campaign for less than five months, resigned Thursday, according to Janowicz, a Democrat who is running to unseat GOP Rep. Ed Royce in the 39th Congressional District.

In a Facebook statement Friday, Janowicz identified Taylor as a “senior member” of his campaign staff who “vehemently denies the allegations.”

“I await the results of the formal investigation,” Janowicz continued, adding that “sexual harassment and sexual assault have absolutely no place in our society and absolutely no place on a political campaign.”

Janowicz said he first heard about the allegations Tuesday afternoon and called Taylor to ask for an explanation. Janowicz said after that conversation, he immediately asked for Taylor’s resignation, which was finalized Thursday afternoon.

Taylor’s name, along with the name of a prominent Orange County labor leader, was first publicly mentioned in a report from OC Weekly that detailed the allegations by unnamed accusers.

Efforts to reach Taylor were unsuccessful.

The alleged incidents came to light in part through social media posts inspired by the #metoo campaign that has prompted women to share their experiences with sexual harassment. They caught the attention of many Orange County politicos after a post from Danielle Serbin, chairwoman of the Orange County Young Democrats, demanded that party leaders “call out the harassers, name them and shame them, and remove them from positions of power in our community.”

In a statement, the Democratic Party of Orange County said it takes the accusations seriously and promised a raft of changes to its operation, including training for members and volunteers, a code of conduct that applies to all members, staff and volunteers of the party and taking “immediate action” to investigate accusations as they arise.

Elsewhere in California politics, state Senate leader Kevin de León announced Monday that he will hire two outside firms to look into allegations of a widespread culture of sexual harassment in the state Capitol.

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