One day after his resignation, Assemblyman Michael Duvall wanted to make it clear -- he told "inappropriate stories," but he did not have an affair.
"I want to make it clear that my decision to resign is in no way an admission that I had an affair or affairs," Duvall said in a statement on his website. "My offense was engaging in inappropriate story-telling and I regret my language and choice of words. The resulting media coverage was proving to be an unneeded distraction to my colleagues and I resigned in the hope that my decision would allow them to return to the business of the state."
Just before the start of a committee meeting earlier this summer, the married Orange County Republican and father of two was bragging to a Assemblyman Jeff Miller, who is seated to his left, about his sexual encounters with two lobbyists. Duvall apparently did not realize the audio was picked up by the Legislature's in-house channel on the mic positioned in front of him.
The report was broadcast Tuesday night on KCAL.
Here are a few details, and let this be a warning to anyone unfamiliar with the art of changing the subject.
"So the other day, she came here with her underwear, Thursday, and we had made love Wednesday, a lot," Duvall said to Miller. "So I am getting into spanking her. Yeah, I like it. I like spanking her. She goes, 'I know you like spanking me.' I said, 'Yeah, that's cause you're such a bad girl.'"
Duvall resigned Wednesday afternoon.
Miller does not say very much on the tape but is heard chuckling on occasion. He was removed Thursday from the Assembly Ethics Committee, which is now conducting an investigation into the matter.
A spokeswoman for Assembly Speaker Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles, told Capitol Weekly that Miller was removed "because he was party to a conversation that is being investigated by the Ethics Committee. It is not appropriate for Mr. Miller to remain on the committee."
Capitol Weekly reported that Miller requested a copy of the recording shortly after the July 8 hearing concluded. A spokesman for Miller told the Los Angeles Times that Miller doesn't recall the conversation.
The resignation came after Duvall received a spanking of his own earlier Wednesday. He was removed from the Assembly's Utilities and Commerce and Rules committees.
"I am saddened and disappointed in the recent comments made by Assemblymember Mike Duvall," Bass said in a statement. "There is no question his comments were inappropriate. In consultation with Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee, I have removed Assemblymember Duvall from the Assembly’s Utilities and Commerce and Rules Committees and I have directed our Ethics Committee to look into this matter. The Assembly has some very important policy work to complete in the next couple of days and we will not allow this situation to become a distraction."
The OC Weekly reported that the mic became live about one minute before the start of the committee hearing, which was televised on a cable channel.
The 54-year-old Duvall mentions that the woman is 19 years his junior. Duvall said he joked with the woman that she was getting old after turning 36 and told her, "I am going to have to trade you in."
He then goes on to tell how he broke news of his affair -- not to his wife, but to his other mistress.
"I talked to her yesterday," he said. "She goes, 'So are we finished?' I go, 'No, we are not finished.' I go, 'You know about the other one, but she doesn't know about you.'"
KCAL, citing "sources," reported that the two lobbyists are both married.
The station also reported that one of the women works for a firm that represents utilities. Duvall was vice chair of the Utilities and Commerce Committee.
Duvall posted an apology on his campaign website Wednesday morning: "I made a mistake and I sincerely apologize. I deeply regret the comments I made in what I believed to be a private conversation. This is a private matter and I ask that everyone respect the privacy of all involved."
A source also told KCAL that Duvall shows little discretion when it comes to his "sexual conquests." The source told KCAL that, "It makes us all feel uncomfortable, but it's very difficult to get him to change the subject."
The OC Weekly's story quotes "sources who asked for anonymity because of Duvall's power at the Capitol." The Weekly reported that the sources said Duvall has been "socializing after-hours" with Sacramento-based lobbyist Heidi DeJong Barsuglia.
"Their relationship is the worst-kept secret in Sacramento," the staffer told the Weekly. "He's old and fat. She's hot, blonde and about 20 years younger. He could have never gotten a woman like that before he got this job."
KCAL and the OC Weekly requested a response from Duvall. According to the OC Weekly:
Repeatedly asked to explain his recorded sexual boasting, a red-faced Duvall fled me and another reporter, Dave Lopez of KCBS in Los Angeles, three times this afternoon in capitol hallways. He also ignored three handwritten interview requests that were delivered to him on the floor of the assembly. Said one assembly employee who witnessed the scene, "It definitely looks like he is afraid of you guys."
The Weekly reported that Barsuglia, who turned 36 in July, was hired in April as a lobbyist by Sempra Energy. That's two months after Duvall became vice chair of the Utilities and Commerce Committee.
The committee had been considering a bill that would require utilities to generate 33 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2020. Many utilities oppose it.
On July 6, Duvall was one of five Republicans to vote against the legislation, which is sponsored by Sen. Joe Simitian, D-Palo Alto.
Sempra released a statement saying it will investigate the matter and added that Barsuglia has "denied the speculative media reporters," according to The Orange County Register.
Duvall received a 100 percent rating from a conservative advocacy group for his votes on legislation considered pro-family.