[Sacramento, California] A lawsuit alleging sexual harassment against California Treasurer Fiona Ma will proceed to trial, a Sacramento County Superior Court judge ruled Thursday. The decision comes after Judith Blackwell, former head of the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee, accused Ma of inappropriate behavior and advances.
Blackwell, who initiated the Fiona Ma sexual harassment lawsuit in July 2021, claimed that Ma had, on several occasions while sharing living quarters after working late, behaved inappropriately. Among the incidents, she alleges Ma exposed her naked backside and once climbed into bed with her. Ma’s defense countered, describing the incidents as regular occurrences when individuals cohabit.
Judge Christopher Krueger, while dismissing Blackwell’s claims of racial discrimination and wrongful termination, stated that the sexual harassment allegations had grounds to be deliberated by a jury.
Steve Maviglio, a spokesperson for Ma, commented on the recent decision, “We’re satisfied that several allegations were discarded. We’re confident these meritless claims will be proven false in court.”
Blackwell’s lawsuit also highlights challenges she faced post a debilitating stroke in 2020. On her return to work, she was inundated with added responsibilities, often leading to extended work hours.
Fiona Ma, an influential Democrat, has a rich political history. Prior to her 2018 election as the state treasurer, she was part of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She’s also held positions on the Board of Equalization and the state Assembly. A future in the lieutenant governor’s office might be on the horizon for Ma, who has announced her intention to run in 2026.
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