LOS ANGELES - Recent reports have questioned how much Mayor Eric Garcetti knew about a former top aide and the sexual harassment case that aide, Rick Jacobs, is facing.
A couple of questions are being asked this week.
What did the Mayor know and when did he know about the workplace sexual harassment allegations at the Los Angeles City Hall?
In 2020, a sexual harassment lawsuit against Jacobs was filed by Matthew Garza, a guard in Mayor Garcetti’s security team.
A number of witnesses stepped forward and gave depositions like Naomi Seligman, who claims the inappropriate behavior played out in different ways.
She says, "It could be a hug. It could be a kiss. It could be a massage."
Seligman was Garcetti’s communications director until 2017. In 2016, after a Garcetti speech written by her team, she says Jacobs walked into their city hall office to offer congratulations.
In a very emotional explanation she says, "He came up to me and grabbed me and held me fiercely. He called it his power hug… his bear hug. And, then he kissed me on the lips for a long time with my staff around me."
Seligman thinks the Mayor empowered Jacobs by not stopping his alleged inappropriate behavior. We wanted to talk with the Mayor and as we did, he stood by his prior written statements that he was never aware of the allegations circling city hall.
Garcetti said, "By everyone’s admission, nobody brought this to my attention. If they had, I absolutely would have acted on it."
To Seligman, "He knew people were being victimized. He saw people being victimized. And he kept him in power and he’s the only one who could’ve done that."
We pointed out to Garcetti that Seligman claims he actually saw some of the things occur.
She outlined that, "I saw him witness it in the Mayor’s suite, I saw him witness it outside his office. I saw him witness it at the Getty House."
The Mayor’s response, "I’ve said very consistently. This is behavior I never witnessed. Full stop."
We reached out to the attorney for Rick Jacobs and, as of this writing, still have not gotten a response. As for that lawsuit we talked about, it’s set for court at the end of January 2022.