An investigation ordered by GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa found that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti “likely” knew of sexual harassment and racism allegations against his former senior advisor, according to a memo of the probe.
Grassley launched the investigation following President Joe Biden nominating Garcetti to serve as ambassador to India last July.
In the 23-page memo released Tuesday, Grassley accused Garcetti of, during his time as LA mayor, knowing that his Deputy Chief of Staff Rick Jacobs “had sexually harassed multiple individuals and made racist and derogatory comments towards others.”
The memo detailed that several people in Garcetti’s office had complained of unwanted kisses or physical contact from Jacobs or that he was hitting on them.
“By all accounts, Mr. Jacobs’ behavior was widely known and talked about. It was pervasive, widespread, and notorious — to the point that Mr. Jacobs sexually harassed someone in front of the Mayor for a picture that would be memorialized for all time,” according to the memo, referring to a photo of Jacobs, Garcetti, and others in June 2017, in which Jacobs placed his hand over the crotch of Alec Evans of Kirra Consulting.
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The probe claimed that, given that Garcetti “is very involved in the day-to-day operation of his office,” “it is extremely unlikely that he would not have been aware of Mr. Jacobs’ behavior.”
In a statement to Axios, a White House spokesperson defended Garcetti and condemned the probe, describing it as a “partisan report.”
This partisan report was a hit job from the beginning, and many of the claims have already been conclusively debunked by more serious independent reports,” the spokesperson said, adding that the president “has confidence in Mayor Garcetti and believes he will be an excellent representative in India at a critical moment and calls for the Senate to swiftly confirm him.”
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.