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Can City Council Be Impartial On Jose Huizar? Video Obtained by KCAL Raises Questions

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

One of those calling for the review is City Council President Herb Wesson.

KCAL9 Political Reporter Dave Bryan received a copy of a cell phone video recorded Tuesday evening at a fundraiser and re-election rally for council member Jose Huizar, who is currently being accused of sexual harassment and retaliation in a lawsuit filed by a former deputy chief of staff, Francine Godoy.

Huizar has admitted to having an extramarital affair with Godoy but denies ever harassing her. He called her allegations “false and malicious.”

Reporters were not allowed inside the Tuesday evening fundraiser for Huizar’s 2015 re-election campaign. The cell phone video was given to Bryan by a source who wished to remain anonymous.

And in the cell phone video obtained by Bryan, Wesson is heard effusively lauding Huizar. Wesson said, “Mr. Huizar is like my brother. My best friend on the council. I trust him with my life. … “

Bryan said it is for this reason that Wesson asking for the review is raising concerns.

Scott Johnson, who writes the political blog Mayor Sam’s Sister City, said with last night’s comments, Wesson all but shredded any perception that he could remain impartial or objective.

“How can you take Council President Wesson seriously in his comments that he could be an impartial overseer of this investigation and he’s up there on stage backslapping the guy. It raises a lot of serious ethical questions here.”

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