Mayor Garcetti likely knew about allegations against advisor: Senate report

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti — who is being considered as ambassador to India — "more likely than not" was aware of or should have been aware of sexual harassment and racist comments made by a former top aide, according to a U.S. Senate investigative report released Tuesday.

The investigation concluded it was "more probable than not" that the aide, Rick Jacobs, "sexually harassed multiple individuals and made racist comments towards others."

It also found it "extremely unlikely" that the mayor was unaware of the behavior, saying that "by all accounts, Mayor Garcetti is very involved in the day-to-day operation of his office."

The report adds that "Mr. Jacobs' behavior was widely known and talked about. It was pervasive, widespread and notorious — to the point that Mr. Jacobs sexually harassed someone in front of the mayor for a picture that would be memorialized for all of time. Such overt conduct suggests at best that Mr. Jacobs had no fear of any repercussions," the report said, referencing a photograph of the mayor with Jacobs, in which Jacobs is holding his hand over another person's genital area and Garcetti is giving two thumbs up.


The investigation into Garcetti was requested by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, who delayed the Senate confirmation vote on the mayor's ambassador nomination.

At an unrelated news conference Tuesday morning, Garcetti said he offered to sit down with Grassley, but Grassley "decided not to take him up on (it.)"

The mayor added that he was "confident" and "calm" ahead of the report's release, saying he hopes it "will be free of politics" and "thorough."

He added that his nomination had been "well-vetted" by the White House and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Following the committee's vote to advance Garcetti's nomination, Grassley wrote to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, in March saying he would object to the nomination, citing "numerous credible allegations from multiple whistleblowers alleging that Mr. Garcetti, while mayor of Los Angeles, had knowledge of sexual harassment and assaults allegedly committed against multiple city employees and their associates by his close adviser, and that he ignored the misconduct."

In February, the nonprofit law firm Whistleblower Aid filed a complaint on behalf of Garcetti's former communications director, Naomi Seligman, accusing the mayor of perjury while he was questioned during his nomination hearing in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee about the sexual harassment allegations against Jacobs.

Jacobs was accused in a 2020 lawsuit filed by Los Angeles Police Department Officer Matthew Garza, who claims Garcetti witnessed the misconduct but turned a blind eye to it.

Seligman also says she was forcibly kissed by Jacobs and that Garcetti knew about Jacobs' alleged pattern of harassment.

Garcetti has denied the allegations in the past — and did so again during his hearing, telling the Senate panel he has a "zero tolerance" policy for sexual harassment.

The full report can be read here