Francine Godoy, who left Councilman Jose Huizar's staff in April for a job with the Department of Sanitation, reportedly says in a complaint filed June 7 with the state Department of Fair Employment and Housing that she was harassed and endured retaliation because of her gender and her "refusal to engage in sex." Per the LA Times' David Zahniser, Godoy says in the complaint against Huizar and the city that "I was subjected to sexual harassment and retaliated against when I refused advances." Huizar, through spokesman Rick Coca, "strongly and emphatically denies the assertions made in the claim sent to the city and intends to fully cooperate with the city in any investigation of this matter." Huizar is the councilman for downtown and parts of the Eastside.
From the LAT story:
The complaint alleges that the activity took place on or before April 21. On that day, Godoy took a job with the city's Bureau of Sanitation, according to city personnel officials. The complaint also alleges she was denied a promotion, forced to quit, forced to transfer, asked "impermissible non-job-related questions" and had her ability to run for public office "sabotaged."
Godoy, 33, did not respond to requests for comment. She was hired by Huizar in March 2006 at an annual salary of around $47,000, according to figures obtained from the city's Personnel Department. By January 2012, she earned $112,668 annually. Last January, her salary had climbed to nearly $133,000.
Godoy's lawyer, Michael Eisenberg, would not say whether his client had been planning a bid for a particular political office. He declined to discuss any aspect of the complaint, saying he and Godoy are not prepared to "talk about it openly."
"Right now we're not going to be trying this in the media," he added.
Coca said that because of the potential for litigation, Huizar cannot comment further on the Godoy matter. "In the meantime, however, the council member remains focused on delivering top-notch city services to the constituents of the 14th Council District," Coca said.
An intriguing part of the story is that City Council President Herb Wesson last week took steps to convene an obscure, independent City Hall panel — the Special Committee on Investigative Oversight — "whose sole duty is to examine misconduct complaints lodged by city employees against the city's elected officials." Zahniser says the existence of such a panel dates back to 1996 allegations against Wesson's former boss, then-councilman Nate Holden. Per Zahniser: "Wesson would not say which of the city's 18 elected officials is the target — but pointed out that it isn't him."
LA Observed file photo: Huizar campaigning with Wendy Greuel in Boyle Heights during the 2013 mayoral campaign.