LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar appeared in council chambers Tuesday for the first time since allegations surfaced that he sexually harassed his former deputy chief of staff.

CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo reported that Huizar didn’t answer questions about Francine Godoy’s complaint to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, in which she alleged discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

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Godoy said Huizar made sexual advances then retaliated against her for refusing.

In a statement released Monday, Huizar’s spokesman, Rick Coca, said the councilman denied the assertions and was surprised by the claim.

A source told Fajardo that there have long been questions about Godoy’s employment and how she was able to advance so quickly.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Huizar’s office hired Godoy in 2006 at an annual salary of $47,000. By January of 2013, her pay rose to nearly $133,000.

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According to city personnel records, she left her job with the councilman in April and now works as a project coordinator with the city’s Bureau of Sanitation. As of July 1, her salary was at $119,000.

Fajardo reported that a commission made up of city officials will investigate Godoy’s claims.

Council President Herb Wesson said, “My responsibility was to convene a special panel to begin looking into this. I did contact, last week, the personnel department and this panel was convened.”


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Ex-Staffer Accuses LA City Councilman Jose Huizar Of Sexual Harassment