A member of the Los Angeles Police Department has accused the deputy mayor of Los Angeles of sexually harassing him with unwanted hugs and attention for several years in the presence of Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti.
LAPD officer Matthew Garza first began working in Garcetti’s protection detail in October 2013, a role which required Garza to be with the mayor at all times, including trips that took place outside of Los Angeles, KTTV-TV reported.
Garcetti’s longtime political advisor and aid Rick Jacobs allegedly sexually harassed Garza repeatedly while Garza was on the job beginning in 2014, Garza said, according to the local outlet.
Garza’s lawsuit also says that the mayor was present on “approximately half of the occasions when Jacobs behaved in this way” but did nothing.
“The Mayor took no action to stop the comments from being made or even identify the comments as being inappropriate,” Garza’s lawsuit says. “On some occasions, the Mayor would laugh at Jacobs’ crude comments.”
The LAPD declined to comment on the matter to the DCNF, saying that the department “does not comment on pending litigation.”
BREAKING: A LAPD officer who worked in Mayor Garcetti’s protection detail is suing the city after he says one of Garcetti’s advisors repeatedly sexually harassed him over several years while in the presence of the Mayor, who he says did nothing to stop it. Graphic details @FOXLA pic.twitter.com/O0AQm9wlHO
— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) July 14, 2020
Garcetti’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation on these allegations.
Jacobs told the Los Angeles Times in an emailed statement: “This lawsuit is a work of pure fiction, and is out of left field. Officer Garza and I worked together for many years without incident. I will vigorously defend myself, my character and my reputation.”
Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar also told the Los Angeles Times, “the mayor has zero tolerance for sexual harassment and unequivocally did not witness the behavior that Officer Garza alleges.”
Garza’s lawsuit alleges that Jacobs would often hug him without his consent, saying phrases such as “you’re so strong and handsome” or “your muscles are so tight” or “I love me my strong LAPD officers,” according to KTTV-TV.
These alleged lengthy and tight hugs combined with Jacob’s comments made Garza “extremely uncomfortable.”
The lawsuit also accuses Jacobs of frequently making inappropriate comments to Garza or in Garza’s presence, such as Jacobs discussing his own gay lover, how Jacobs likes younger men or having “rough sex” with gay partners, and how Jacobs likes “big c—–,” KTTV-TV reported.
Jacobs allegedly massaged Garza’s shoulders on four or five road trips when Garza was sitting in the seat in front of Jacobs, according to the publication, while Jacobs made comments such as “you’re so strong; I love my LAPD officers.”
Garza alleges that Garcetti was sitting right next to Jacobs when Jacobs massaged Garza’s shoulders without Garza’s permission, but Garcetti did nothing.
The LAPD officer also alleges that staffers in the Mayor’s office apologized to him on over a dozen occasions for the alleged inappropriate behavior.
Garza “refused to return to the Mayor’s detail because of the continual touchings, comments, and vulgar behavior directed at him by Jacobs and silently condoned by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles” on June 18, 2020, the lawsuit states.
His refusal came after he took a leave of absence for a back injury, according to KTTV-TV.
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