SACRAMENTO (CBSLA) — Days after taking a leave of absence, the chairman of the California Democratic Party announced Wednesday he will seek treatment for alcohol abuse after allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Eric Bauman first stated his plans to seek treatment in response to a Los Angeles Times article citing 10 people describing crude comments and inappropriate touching by Bauman.

“I deeply regret if my behavior has caused pain to any of the outstanding individuals with whom I’ve had the privilege to work. I appreciate the courage it took for these individuals to come forward to tell their stories,” Bauman told The Times.

Staffers told the paper that during his time as party chair, Bauman would “regularly make sexually explicit comments in the workplace to men and women, including remarks about sexual acts, his and other staffers’ genitalia, and being sexually attracted to staff members.”

Text messages between Bauman and another male party official reviewed by The Times showed sexually suggestive remarks made by Bauman, who also allegedly taunted staff members “on multiple occasions about their sexual orientation and their physical appearance”, according to The Times.

An investigation of Bauman’s alleged conduct had already been launched after California Democratic Party vice chairman Daraka Larimore-Hall accused Bauman – who is gay – of sexual harassment and assault against unnamed individuals.

David Campos of the San Francisco Democratic Party says Bauman was accused of drinking and lewd comments during a campaign bus tour in early November.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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