The California Democratic Party’s East Bay director has resigned under pressure following allegations that he acted in a sexually aggressive manner toward a 23-year-old woman at a party function in San Mateo County last month and raped another female party member last year.
Craig Cheslog, 46, of Lafayette, subsequently resigned his seat on the Acalanes Union High School District board and was fired from his job at San Francisco-based Common Sense Media.
Cheslog is a former aide to state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson.
Cheslog’s accuser is Maddy Dean, daughter of Solano County Office of Education board president Dana Dean. Maddy Dean wrote of the incident and identified herself in a letter to the media. She posted on Facebook about her decision to come forward, writing:
“When a highly personal trauma becomes talked about in this kind of way, it quickly becomes about much more than you. … I came forward to protect others, so this has always been about more than just me,” she wrote. “Young people deserve an inclusive and safe environment in which to engage in politics.”
Cheslog was not available for comment on the story. His attorney says he will be vindicated after an open investigation of the allegations.
According to the letter which was provided to East County Today on December 11, California Democrats have received multiple reports that Mr. Cheslog acted in an inappropriate and sexually aggressive manner towards one of their members in the public areas of the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel November 18, 2017, at the Winter 2017 CDP Executive Board Meeting.
After the allegations came to light, one CADEM member reported to the Chair that Mr. Cheslog had raped her at a CDP Executive Board meeting the previous year (November 2016).
Here is a copy of the full letter:
November 29, 2017
We, the undersigned statewide officers of the California Democratic Party, do hereby formally file this Statement of Charges to initiate removal of Craig Cheslog from the officer position of Region 2 Director.
We have received multiple reports that Mr. Cheslog acted in an inappropriate and sexually aggressive manner towards one of our members in the public areas of the Westin San Francisco Airport hotel. These inappropriate actions occurred late Saturday night, November 18, 2017, at the Winter 2017 CDP Executive Board Meeting. The level to which this activity advanced made a number of those in attendance uncomfortable and created an unwelcoming and unsuitable environment.
Further, witnessing this activity triggered a reaction in one of our members who subsequently reported to our Chair that Mr. Cheslog had raped her at a CDP Executive Board meeting the previous year (November 2016). While no legal adjudication has been reached in this matter, these appalling allegations paired with the inappropriate behavior observed and reported this past weekend lead us to conclude that Mr. Cheslog should no longer serve as an officer of the California Democratic Party.
Alexandra Gallardo-Rooker, First Vice-Chair
Daraka Larimore-Hall, Vice-Chair
Dan Weitzman, Controller
Eric C. Bauman, Chair
CC: Adam Seiden, CDP Senior Advisor
Sandra Lowe, CDP Senior Strategist
Clark Lee, CDP Political Director
In response to the allegations, Cheslog was terminated for “highly inappropriate behavior” by his employer Common Sense Media.
In a statement from Corbie Kiernan, VP of Communications:
On Wednesday November 29, we received information about highly inappropriate behavior by Craig Cheslog, who was an employee of Common Sense at the time. The conduct represented a serious violation of both company policy and the way in which our employees are expected to conduct themselves in the community at large. We immediately suspended Mr. Cheslog and conducted an investigation. As a result of the investigation, Mr. Cheslog’s employment with Common Sense was terminated.
Prior to working with Common Sense Media he worked office of Tom Torlakson, California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, where he served as principal adviser since 2011. Prior to that, Cheslog was Torlakson’s district director when he was State Senator and State Assemblyman representing Contra Costa County, CA.
Attempts to reach Cheslog for comment were unsuccessful and he has not responded to questions regarding the allegations.
Region 2 covers Assembly Districts 4, 11, 14, 16.