State Watch

Report to Senate finds no improper behavior by Garcetti, former adviser

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti

A report commissioned by the city of Los Angeles cleared Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) of allegations that he failed to discipline his former chief of staff, who allegedly sexually harassed and inappropriately touched a Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officer.

The more than 300-page report was reportedly provided to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before the panel advanced Garcetti’s nomination as U.S. ambassador to India in January.

The Los Angeles Times last week first reported on the news that the confidential investigation was handed to the Senate committee. The report was then released publicly.

LAPD Officer Matt Garza is suing Los Angeles over allegations that Garcetti’s former chief of staff, Rick Jacobs, made sexual comments to him and sexually harassed him.

Garza, a former bodyguard for the mayor, has also alleged that Garcetti knew about the harassment but did nothing to stop it.

According to the report from the city attorney’s office, Jacobs did not act inappropriately and the mayor did not know about or fail to discipline his chief of staff.

“The evidence reflected that to the extent Mr. Jacobs gave hugs, he did so appropriately. In other words, he did not hug overly frequently, too tightly or too long,” the report says. “Further, contrary to Ofc. Garza’s complaint, Mayor Garcetti did not know about or fail to prevent Mr. Jacobs from engaging in inappropriate touching or comments.”

The report, which is not a legal determination, included interviews with 24 witnesses, including the mayor and administrative employees, and a review of documents. 

According to the Times, former city employees who filed court depositions saying it was common knowledge that Jacobs acted inappropriately were not interviewed for the city report because they declined or were not contacted by the office.

Garza’s attorney, Greg Smith, told the Times on Wednesday that city investigators did not capture the full scope of Garza’s allegations.

“This is textbook exercise in providing cover to a public official who wants to conceal misconduct,” Smith said. “It is clear that the city had no interest in a balanced report.”

The Hill has reached out to the mayor’s office for comment. 

Garza began working for the mayor in 2013 and says Jacobs harassed him from 2014 to 2019. The police officer filed his lawsuit in July 2020, and the litigation is ongoing.

Tags California Eric Garcetti Harassment report Los Angeles Los Angeles Mayor's Office Matt Garza Rick Jacobs

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