Garcetti's top advisor Rick Jacobs takes leave of absence after sexual harassment allegations
LOS ANGELES - Mayor Garcetti's top advisor Rick Jacobs takes leave of absence after sexual harassment allegations, it was reported Tuesday evening.
Well-known journalist, Yashar Ali, who has contributed to the HuffPost, NBC News and New York Magazine, has come forward on Monday evening with sexual assault allegations against Mayor Eric Garcetti's top advisor, Rick Jacobs who allegedly sexually harassed and assaulted people over the past six years.
Garcetti Advisor: Rick Jacobs
And Ali said not only did the Mayor not do anything to stop it, but he's also kept Jacobs in his position.
RELATED: Lawsuit: LAPD officer claims Garcetti repeatedly witnessed sexual harassment, did nothing to stop it
Ali tweeted Tuesday night, "24 hours after I published this story,@ericgarcetti has issued this statement about his top advisor Rick Jacobs: "I take seriously all allegations of harassment. Rick Jacobs has stepped away from his non-profit and volunteer political work."
In July, The City of Los Angeles was sued by a member of Mayor Garcetti's security detail who alleged that Rick Jacobs sexually harassed and assaulted him for years.
"The allegations laid out in the lawsuit sounded familiar to me. The reason the allegations in the lawsuit sounded familiar to me was that Rick Jacobs used to forcibly kiss me when I worked in politics.
After the lawsuit was filed in July and Jacobs denied the allegations I confronted him in a text message. I thought about tweeting about this in July, but first checked in with a senior aide in Mayor Eric Garcetti's office to give them a heads up. It's been three months since I informed Garcetti's admin of my allegations and Jacobs is still in power," Ali tweeted.
Ali spoke with FOX 11 Monday night about the allegations.
"In my previous life, I worked in politics and encountered Rick Jacobs who is a top advisor to Mayor Garcetti on many occasions. He [Jacobs] would forcibly kiss me on the mouth without consent and he would grab me," said Ali.
He said the lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles Police Department officer in July against Jacobs gave him "clarity" because he thought a lot about "Jacob's behavior" over the years.
"I knew I had to confront him [Jacobs] so that's when I sent him a text message telling him it was unacceptable what he did to me and allegedly to others. I think he knew he had to be careful about what he said so he offered a very crisp denial that didn't acknowledge anything I said. He was very careful if you noticed not to say I didn't do this to you or didn't involve me because he knows better so he just said it's all fabricated, it's all a lie," said Ali.
Ali reached out to Garcetti's team and spoke over the phone with an official at length about the allegations.
"I've done a ton of reporting in the last four years that has led to investigations that has led to people resigning, getting fired so normally when I approach someone with an accusation, I'm treated with credibility, and it was shocking to me that the Mayor continued to stand by Rick even after his office knew about my allegations and with the lawsuit because why would you need to stand by someone who's accused this way? How is it worth it for your administration? You don't have to put the person in jail but you can say let's not work together right now," said Ali.
Ali encourages victims of sexual assault to come forward and for entities facing sexual assault allegations to investigate.
"My message to anyone as someone who has done a ton of reporting about sexual misconduct is if you have these allegations, you should take them seriously and that means conducting an investigation of the allegations, which according to my sources, the Mayor has not done," said Ali.
FOX 11 reached out to the Mayor's Office and Jacobs for comment but has not yet received a response from either party.
FOX 11's Shelly Insheiwat contributed to this report
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