California Lawmaker Reprimanded after Sexual Misconduct Investigation, Told to Stop Hugging People

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A California state senator has been told to stop hugging people after a sexual misconduct investigation concluded his behavior made multiple colleagues uncomfortable.

The Senate Rules Committee formally reprimanded Sen. Bob Hertzberg on Tuesday. The Los Angeles-area Democrat says he’ll respect the request not to hug people.

An investigation covered four complaints against Hertzberg dating to 2010 involving three female lawmakers and a male sergeant at arms. It found he hugged the three lawmakers in ways that made them uncomfortable and made the sergeant uncomfortable by “dancing briefly with his backside” against him.

Hertzberg is known for being gregarious and his frequent hugs of men and women earned him the nickname “Hugsberg.” The investigation found the vast majority of Hertzberg’s hugs were not unwelcome or meant to be sexual in nature.

It comes after three state lawmakers accused of sexual misconduct have resigned.