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California Democrats head for treatment for alcohol abuse after accusations of sexual abuse

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By Dennis Romero

California Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman, already on leave as a result of a recent sexual harassment investigation, said Wednesday that he would seek treatment for alcohol.

The announcement was a response to several allegations of sexual violations published by the Los Angeles Times the previous day. Among the accusers was a woman who said she worked temporarily for a party during the election season when Bauman asked if she and other workers were sleeping together.

"I feel very embarrassed, almost embarrassed, and uncomfortable," Grace Leekley told the Times. "I'm basically under-the-barrel staff – and he's the most powerful person at the party."

The allegations came as the influential state party was riding a wave of celebrations following historic performances in Orange County during November's midterm elections. After becoming the foundation of the GOP, the county is now fully represented by Democrats in Congress.

Without affirming or denying the accusation, Bauman said in a statement, "I am very sorry if my behavior has caused pain to one of the extraordinary individuals with whom I have the privilege of working. I appreciate the courage needed for these people to come forward to tell their story. "

He added: "I will use when I leave to immediately seek medical intervention to deal with serious and ongoing health problems and start treatment for what I now realize is a problem with alcohol."

Last year, when Bauman campaigned for his position, he faced charges that he had been involved in inappropriate behavior with teenage boys. When Bauman, the first chairman of the famous gay party, said he was "angry" on the charges.

Deputy chairman of the party Daraka Larimore-Hall first raised the latest round of allegations and asked Bauman to resign.

Associated Press contribute.

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