Written by KATHLEEN RONAYNE- Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — An investigation released Thursday by the California Senate concludes a former chief of staff engaged in “sexually inappropriate” behavior with a female subordinate while employed by the chamber.
Adam Keigwin, now a managing director and lobbyist for Mercury Public Affairs, denied the findings.
“These allegations are absolutely untrue; they are contrary to and against everything I stand for and have spent my entire career fighting for; and I will vigorously defend myself against them,” he said in an email.
Investigators said Keigwin likely exposed himself to and engaged in unwanted touching with the woman after he had been drinking at social events. They also found Keigwin engaged in “unwanted sexual conversations” during his time in the Senate but that some conversations “were not unwanted.”
Investigators do not name the former female employee who complained about Keigwin and said she stopped participating after her initial interview. She worked for the Senate between 2011 and 2014, with Keigwin as her supervisor.
Keigwin left the Senate in 2013 after serving as chief of staff for former Sen. Leland Yee, who is now in federal prison after pleading guilty in a corruption case.
Mercury did not formally comment on the investigation.
But Fabian Nunez, a former Assembly speaker who is now partner at the firm’s Sacramento office, discussed it in an email to staff. He said while the allegations are “troubling,” the firm is not aware of any complaints against Keigwin during his time at Mercury.
“Adam informs us that he has fully cooperated with this investigation and has categorically denied the allegations,” he wrote.
In a letter to Keigwin detailing the investigation’s findings, Senate Secretary Daniel Alvarez says his Capitol access could be restricted if he engages in future misconduct.
He also said Keigwin is not eligible for future Senate employment.
The Senate agreed earlier this year to release findings of sexual misconduct investigations involving lawmakers and high-level staff members if the allegations are determined to be well-founded. That decision came amid a reckoning on sexual harassment in the California Capitol.
This story has been corrected to reflect that Keigwin is a managing director at Mercury Public Affairs, not a partner.Ka