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L.A. City Council Awards $1.8 Million To LAPD Officer Who Accused Ex-Mayor Garcetti’s Top Aide Of Sexual Harassment

 Los Angeles   city officials approved a $1.8 million legal settlement brought by a Los Angeles police officer who said he was sexually hara...

 Los Angeles city officials approved a $1.8 million legal settlement brought by a Los Angeles police officer who said he was sexually harassed by a top aide for former Mayor Eric Garcetti — a scandal that a legal organization said stalled Garcetti’s confirmation as President Biden’s ambassador to India.

Council members unanimously voted 13-0 to settle the 2020 lawsuit filed by LAPD Officer Matthew Garza, who served on Garcetti’s protective detail and accused Rick Jacobs of inappropriately touching and sexually harassing him over several years. Jacobs reportedly acknowledged “it’s possible” that he may have made sexual jokes, but denied harassing anyone.

“The city attempted to vilify Officer Garza when he spoke truth to power,” Greg Smith, Garza’s attorney, told The Los Angeles Times. “I applaud the 13 to 0 vote by the City Council, affirming the merit of this case. Enabling predators isn’t leadership — residents of Los Angeles deserved better.”

The outlet reported at least two other male city employees who worked for Garcetti said his top aide had given them “unwanted hugs, touches,” or made “sexual comments.”

Two other men accused Jacob of groping them, while another staffer told The Times that Jacob’s alleged harassing behavior was “something everyone talked about” in the mayor’s office.

Garza’s lawsuit reportedly claimed that Garcetti and his wife, Amy Wakeland, witnessed Jacobs’ alleged behavior. They have both denied that allegation, with Garcetti telling the Times in May that he would have taken action if he had been informed about the problem.

Whistleblower Aid, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit legal organization supporting individuals who report government and corporate lawbreaking, told The Daily Wire in an emailed statement the settlement exposed an alleged culture of harassment and intimidation running all the way to the top.


“Today’s settlement underscores the validity and seriousness of the allegations that Garcetti and his team fought so hard to deny and suppress,” Whistleblower Aid CEO Libby Liu said.

“It would not have been possible without the bravery and determination of a few individuals from inside Garcetti’s mayoral administration who refused to roll over for the sake of his future career ambitions and told the truth under oath,” Liu added. “The size of the settlement speaks volumes about the power of the evidence that these whistleblowers presented and the importance of holding enablers accountable.”

Former mayoral communications director Naomi Seligman, a whistleblower who the legal group represented, called the incidents “particularly egregious,” claiming Garcetti’s former administration contradicted its public commitment to gender equity and “zero tolerance” to sexual misconduct.

“People who subject subordinates to sexual pressure and humiliation can only continue the abuse if someone at the top enables it,” Seligman said. “The taxpayers of Los Angeles should not have to pick up the tab for Eric Garcetti’s derelict leadership. Garcetti failed in his fundamental duty as mayor to keep city employees safe. Today’s settlement acknowledges that at last.”

The controversy consumed Garceti’s final stretch as the top city official for Los Angeles, which lasted for more than 600 days while he simultaneously waited for confirmation as U.S. ambassador to India.
Despite Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) saying that Garcetti “likely knew or should have known” about the alleged misconduct, Senate lawmakers confirmed the ex-mayor’s nomination 52-42 in March.

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