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In Wake Of 2 Sex Harassment Lawsuits, Council Members Call For Review Of City’s Training Program

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Councilman Jose Huizar (credit: CBS)

Councilman Jose Huizar (credit: CBS)

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textalerts180 In Wake Of 2 Sex Harassment Lawsuits, Council Members Call For Review Of Citys Training Program

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — In the wake of sexual harassment lawsuits filed against city officials, two members of the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday called for a “thorough review” of city’s training procedures.

Council President Herb Wesson and Councilwoman Nury Martinez specifically want the city’s ethics, harassment and workplace violence procedures to be examine.

They introduced a motion calling for a report on the city’s training process to be brought back in 45 days.

The motion also proposes that training sessions be conducted “in person,” as opposed to over the Internet, which is currently allowed.

The call for re-examination comes less than a week after City Councilman Jose Huizar was hit with a sexual harassment lawsuit, but Wesson spokesman Ed Johnson said today’s motion was unrelated to any legal action.

Wesson felt that “now is a time for us to review all of these policies,” given that there are seven new council members, a new mayoral administration and new city commissioners, Johnson said.

Francine Godoy — Huizar’s former deputy chief of staff —  filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against the 12th District councilman last week. Huizar, who is married and running for re-election, admitted to a “consensual relationship” with Godoy, but denied ever harassing her.

Godoy claims Huizar offered to support her bid to run a community college board only if she had sex with him. The lawsuit alleges, when she refused, Huizar began yelling and cursing at her.

Meanwhile, Councilman Mitch Englander’s chief of staff is the target of a separate sexual harassment lawsuit filed in September by a former Englander field deputy.

The unnamed former employee accuses John Lee of subjecting her to repeated “inappropriate and offensive jokes and comments of a sexual nature” and denying her the opportunity to apply for a job as a public safety deputy.

Englander has said he was surprised by the lawsuit and that his office has a “system in place where any situation like this would immediately surface and be dealt with.”

Wesson and Martinez’s motion was referred to the Personnel and Animal Welfare Committee and still requires approval by the full City Council.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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