LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar’s former deputy chief of staff has accused him of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Francine Godoy filed a complaint with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing back in June.
In the complaint, Godoy specifically said she was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliation against her when she refused Huizar’s advances.
In a statement, Huizar’s spokesman, Rick Coca, said, “The councilmember is surprised by the claim. He strongly and emphatically denies the assertions made in the claim sent to the city and intends to fully cooperate with the city in any investigation of this matter.”
“The lawsuit fails to mention that Ms. Godoy and the Councilmember had an occasional and consensual relationship, which the Councilmember deeply regrets. He has apologized to his wife and family and he and his wife are currently working on repairing their marriage,” the statement continued.
Mayor Sam’s Sister City political blogger Scott Johnson, who is a neighborhood council activist in Huizar’s district, said the complaint is now added to a growing list of questions about the councilman’s character.
“Going back to the incident involving Councilman Huizar driving home from a gathering a few months back and the issue that was involved with the claim now filed with the city of Los Angeles. And then the issues going back to his constituent loyalty list. There are major questions regarding his character and regarding his veracity,” Johnson said, referring to an alleged DUI case in which Huizar wasn’t charged.
Johnson also said Huizar was paying Godoy a six-figure salary before she was reassigned to the sanitation department.
“What Huizar needs to do is be clearly open and transparent about this whole issue. He needs to be clear with the public why he needed a deputy chief of staff making $133,000 a year when he had a chief of staff making close to $150,000 a year. And he needs to be clear and open why her position was important within his council office,” he said.
KCAL9’s Dave Bryan reported that Godoy has not filed a lawsuit against Huizar yet.