When then-Assemblyman Mickey Conroy wasn't trying to enact legislation that would allow juvenile offenders to get swatted, he was soliciting hugs, kisses and twosomes from female aides, according to court testimony last week.
Former aide Robyn Boyd spent nearly three hours in a Sacramento courtroom on April 16 recounting alleged sexual harassment that occurred days after she began working in Conroy's office in March 1993 and lasted for six weeks until, the 37-year-old claimed, she was fired for reporting the abuse.
Her civil trial targets both Conroy and his chief of staff, Pete Conaty, who Boyd told the jury pressured her to “pamper” the assemblyman, “to keep him company, bring him coffee, water and make him feel special; go in and give him a little back rub now and then. Give him hugs and kisses.” On the way to a political reception at a hotel with Conroy and another female aide, Boyd quoted the assemblyman as saying, “Oh, girls, do we get two bedrooms or one?”
Conroy also asked her out to dinner repeatedly, talked about how lonely he was during evenings in Sacto and began moving the arm he dangled around her as they entered political functions from her waist to “the side of my breast,” Boyd testified.
Conroy and Conaty denied any wrongdoing. Defense attorney Dennis Murphy told the jury Boyd was emotional and was let go because of budget cuts and poor performance, not retaliation. And in his opening statement, Murphy characterized Conroy as grandfatherly. Affectionate with his staff? You betcha, Murphy said, but certainly not in a sexual way.
The Assembly didn't quite see it that way. After Boyd was threatened with firing, the state's lower house launched an investigation that determined Conroy and Conaty had violated the Assembly's sexual-harassment policy. Then-Speaker Willie Brown reprimanded Conroy and suspended Conaty for a week, but Conroy's campaign account repaid the chief of staff for lost wages.
The Coast Guard, a Long Beach lifeguard boat and two helicopters arrived just in time to pluck 16 people from a yacht that disappeared in the choppy waters 11 miles south of Huntington Harbour the evening of April 17. The crew and passengers aboard the 40-foot, three-cabin pleasure–and we do mean pleasure–boat had not been out for a dinner cruise; they were filming an adult movie.
“Thank god for the Coast Guard is all I can say,” said passenger Nina Hartley, who has starred in more than 300 hardcore flicks.
The Coast Guard got a cellular-phone call around 8:15 p.m. about a boat listing and taking on water. By 9:45 p.m., the top of the vessel's pilothouse was all that was above water. Some passengers apparently fell in the drink before rescuers arrived, but there were no injuries reported.
Along with the boat, which was salvaged and towed to Newport Beach, all the moviemaking equipment sank. However, the show goes on: the film was saved.
What a way to go
Ray and Mildred Connett, both 82, were found dead on April 16 together, naked and soaking in a hot tub at the Glen Eden Sun Club, a nudist mobile-home and camping resort they founded in Riverside County's Temescal Canyon that our sources say enjoyed a large Orange County clientele.
It's undetermined how the Connetts died. They could have fallen asleep and drowned accidentally, it could have been a double homicide, or it could have been a double suicide. Mildred Connett, who was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, was taken from a nursing home to the club several times a week by her husband so he could soothe her aching joints in the spa.
A pioneer in the nudist movement, Ray Connett was inducted into the American Association for Nude Recreation's Hall of Fame. After recruiting several followers through a sunbathing column he wrote for Health Magazine after World War II, Ray Connett organized several clubs in his native Canada. Seeking a bigger market, he bought a deserted olive grove in 1963 and opened the 155-acre Glen Eden resort, which was eventually turned into a nonprofit operative owned by its 2,000 members.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.