The Mayor of San Bernardino, John Valdivia, denied recent allegations of sexual harassment by two of his former employees who claimed he had abused and abused them.
The allegations come from Karen Cervantes, former assistant of Valdivia, and Mirna Cisneros, a former customer service representative for the city. The two women say that the mayor sexually harassed them and that they were abused until they had little choice but to give up last week.
“When I refused and did not respond to his progress and inappropriate correspondence, he would abuse me, persuade me and make comments saying that if I didn’t do what I wanted, my job would be jeopardized.” “Cervantes said.
Cervantes also said that harassment, which lasted during her four months as Valdivia, was so severe that she developed health issues.
The former workers also claim that Valdiva made money illegally
transactions were not communicated to a supervisor
until they hired a lawyer.
“[The harassment] He called on the office saying that he was drunk and that he needed help making an appointment with Cllr Henry Nickel. [and] if necessary, to make a sexual preference for one of Nickel’s staff, “said Cisneros.
Valdiva denied the claims in a statement.
“These allegations are false, politically driven and transversal democracy. This is a matter of personnel with an investigation going on, so I will make no further comment until the investigation is completed,” he said.
Tristan Pelayes, the solicitor representing the former employees of the city, argued that Valdiva’s statement was one deflection.
“The typical reaction that a public official makes is to say that ‘it is a politically motivated move’ when he has nothing to say,” Pelayes said.
Cervantes and Cisneros said they are filing legal filings, and intend to file a civil claim against the city next week.
“I want others to be going through the same thing to be safe, no longer being sexually harassed,” said Cisneros.