• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

LA City Councilman Jose Huizar sued for sexual harassment

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar's former deputy chief of staff is suing him for sexual harassment.
October 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar's former deputy chief of staff is suing him for sexual harassment. Huizar says he had an extramarital affair with the woman, but says her harassment lawsuit is without merit.

Francine Godoy's attorney Michael Eisenberg (LaborLitigators.com) filed the lawsuit on Thursday, claiming Huizar subjected her to physical and verbal sexual harassment and retaliated against her after she refused his advances.

Godoy also alleges Huizar cut her duties, forced her to work from home, and sabotaged her campaign for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees.

According to the complaint, Godoy said Huizar suggested last year that she run for the seat and that he would endorse her.

"On or about October 8, 2012, after [Godoy] arrived at [Huizar's] office at City Hall, Huizar told [Godoy] that if she wanted his continued support in her campaign for the CCBT, she would have to have sex with him," the complaint said.

Godoy said in the complaint that when she refused the sexual advances, "Huizar got angry and started yelling and cursing" at her.

The lawsuit alleges Huizar went into her office and started opening her drawers, taking her belongings, grabbing her files and taking her things into his office.

Godoy alleges that Huizar made sexual advances at her again the day before she was scheduled to have an endorsement meeting with the faculty guild.

"Huizar told [Godoy] that they needed to be 'closer' for him to support [Godoy] through the campaign process," the complaint said.

Godoy said when she refused this time, Huizar told her he was canceling the endorsement meeting.

Godoy claims that "Huizar removed some of her job duties" and she was told "she should no longer show up at the office and instead work from home."

Robert Alaniz, a spokesman for Huizar's attorney Dennis Walsh, issued a statement, calling the allegations "absolutely false and malicious." The statement says Huizar and Godoy had a consensual relationship.

"The lawsuit fails to mention that Ms. Godoy and the Councilmember had an occasional and consensual relationship, which the Councilmember deeply regrets. He has apologized to his wife and family and he and his wife are currently working on repairing their marriage," the statement said. "When the true facts come out it will reveal that Ms. Godoy is someone seeking to damage the Councilmember's reputation because he would not help advance her career as she expected."

Huizar is being investigated by a panel appointed by the City Council, but it has not yet released any conclusions.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is confident with how the issue being being handled.

"While not commenting on the specific case, I'm satisfied that the city of Los Angeles does a very good job of making sure all of its employees know the law. It's up to them to obviously obeyed by it," said Garcetti.


Load Comments