LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar spoke publicly for the first time Wednesday about a traffic accident he caused that cost taxpayers $185,000.
“I will tell you this, [the settlement approved by the Los Angeles City Council] seems like a substantial amount,” Huizar told KCAL9’s Dave Lopez. “The damage wasn’t as excessive…in terms of the overall damage.”
On Oct. 25, 2012, Huizar’s city-owned vehicle struck another car, driven by a former Huntington Park police officer, in Boyle Heights.
The councilman said he was driving alone that night and got distracted.
“That day I looked over to the side, there was some activity to the side, I looked back forward, and I thought the cars had gone forward,” he said.
Huizar, who admitted he had “one drink out of dinner,” said the driver requested that he take a Breathalyzer test.
“Absolutely I was not drinking over the limit. I took the Breathalyzer as a precautionary measure. The LAPD told me I could do it voluntarily…that the person I hit had asked for it. They said they saw no signs, no reason to do it,” he said.
Huizar blew a zero on the test.
The city attorney’s office told Huizar he would have no say in the settlement talks.
The councilman said he doesn’t agree with the settlement, but he can’t do anything about it.