L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar Sued For Harassment

L.A. Councilman Jose Huizar Sued For Harassment

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Los Angeles councilman Jose Huizar is being accused of sexual harrassment and retaliation by his former chief of staff who worked with him since 2006. 

In a civil lawsuit filed today, Francine Godoy claims the sexual harrassment was "severe and pervasive" in her work environment. 

The lawsuit states in October last year, the lawmaker said he'd support Godoy in her bid for the Community College Board of Trustees only if she would have sex with him. The lawsuit claims when she refused, he dropped his support for her and by late december the alleged retaliation began - she was ordered to work from home and her role was diminished.   She claimes she was forced to quit her job. 

Robert Alaniz is a spokesperson for Walsh and Associates which represents Huizar. In a statement he says, "The councilmember is shocked and surprised by the claims of the lawsuit. The claims of illegal sexual behavior and other alleged allegations against him are falce and malicious."

The lawyer also stated Huizar had an extramarital affair with Godoy that was occasional and consensual.

In Huizar's district, northeast Eagle Rock constituents say they're taking a wait and see approach. 

Store owner, Kathleen Kroner says, "if the allegations are true it would concern me but right now we don't know all the facts."

Rez Ligad is a constituent who says, "I think it's a personal matter the district is doing well so it's a matter within his family."

A lawyer for Huizar says the lawmaker apologized to his wife and his family for the affair and is working to repair their marriage.  

As for Godoy, after leaving her position, she is now working with the Bureau of Sanitation. 

 


 

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar today admitted having an affair with his former deputy chief of stafff, but he denied harassing the woman, who is suing him for alleged sexual harassment.

Francine Godoy filed a lawsuit today against Huizar in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging her former boss offered to support her in an election campaign in exchange for sex.

Robert Alaniz, a spokesman for Huizar attorney Dennis Walsh, said Huizar denies the claims of "illegal sexual behavior," and said other allegations are "absolutely false and malicious."

Alaniz also said Huizar and Godoy had a "consensual" relationship that Huizar now "deeply regrets."

According to Godoy's lawsuit, Huizar suggested in 2012 that Godoy run for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees.

On Oct. 8, 2012, Huizar called Godoy to his office and said that "if she wanted his continued support in her campaign for the (community college board), she would have to have sex with him," according to the lawsuit.

After Godoy refused, Huizar grew angry and began yelling and cursing at her, the lawsuit claims.

Alaniz said the councilman and Godoy "had an occasional and consensual relationship, which the council member deeply regrets. He has apologized to his wife and family and he and his wife are currently working on repairing their marriage."

Alaniz said that by filing the sexual harassment suit, Godoy is trying to "damage the council member's reputation because he would not help advance her career as she expected."

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