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‘Chuy’ Garcia’s chief of staff resigns after report of laughing off harassment

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CHICAGO — The chief of staff for freshman U.S. Rep. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia has resigned after a report that the aide laughed at a woman who complained of sexual harassment while both worked on Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Garcia accepted Bill Velazquez’s resignation on Friday. Garcia communications director Fabiola Rodriguez-Ciampoli said in a statement that “recent media stories that involved Bill had become a distraction.”

The New York Times reported Thursday that a female staffer who worked with Velazquez on the Sanders campaign said he laughed after she complained about being sexually harassed by a surrogate who was a Mexican game show host. Velazquez was a manager on the Latino outreach team of the Sanders campaign.

Garcia, a Democrat, was sworn in Thursday as a member of Congress.