RANCHO CUCAMONGA (CBSLA) — More women have come forward to accuse a local mayor of creating a hostile work environment alleging he made unwanted advances and retaliated when they spoke up.
“It’s hard for me to wake up everyday and know that he’s still in office,” Alissa Payne, a working mother speaking out against San Bernardino Mayor John Valdivia.READ MORE: Día De Los Muertos Celebrations and Others Return To LA
Valdivia has been called on the mat again by yet another young woman who worked with him.
“I tried my hardest to ignore the advances and the unwanted physical touching,” Payne said. “But when he came out in the open and clearly offered to provide me an apartment.”
That was when Payne said she realized he was crossing the line of kindness and acting like a creep. The working mother does a lot of volunteer work. She coaches inner city softball, collects Christmas trees for struggling families and even coordinated a mobile shower to help the homeless in San Bernardino.
“I thought I’d be able to be a part of that change,” Payne said.
She said Valdivia noticed her acts and helped her become a volunteer city commissioner, but she said he later forcefully hugged her at a commissioners’ dinner.
“I felt so cheap,” she said.READ MORE: Sigma Nu Fraternity At USC Suspends Member At Center Of Sexual Assault Allegations
She then stepped away from her volunteer role, but immediately after doing that, she said somebody reported the mobile shower she had set up and shut it down.
“If you’re willing to do this to a non-paid employee, to somebody in the community who wants to help, what else will he do with his power,” she said.
Attorney Tristan Pelayes said he can prove a pattern of the mayor preying on at least six vulnerable young women, and that he kept his alleged victims in fear by having them sign non-disclosure agreements.
“Everything a sexual predator will do, Mr. Valdivia did,” Pelayes said.
The city of San Bernardino did not respond to a request for comment, but the mayor has previously called the women’s claims false and politically motivated.
“They’re terrified of coming forward,” Pelayes said of the women.MORE NEWS: USC Places Sigma Nu Fraternity On Interim Suspension After Reports Of 'Possible Drug-Facilitated Sexual Assaults,' Students Protest In Support Of Victims
Pelayes said he has filed a couple of claims against the city that he said will eventually turn into lawsuits.