Councilman Jose Huizar attended his first City Council meeting today since he admitted having an "occasional and consensual" affair with a top aide in his office. Francine Godoy left the office earlier this year and has since sued Huizar, alleging sexual harassment and retaliation. Huizar is married and recently was in the news because one of his young children is undergoing treatment for leukemia. Before Tuesday's council meeting, he apparently answered some stairway questions from David Zahniser of the LA Times:
"I made a huge mistake when it comes to the relationship I had with this woman," said Huizar, standing in a stairwell near the council chamber.
Huizar would not say now long the relationship with Godoy lasted. He also declined to describe her duties in his office. Asked whether voters would care about an extramarital affair, he pointed to his work in his district, which includes the Boyle Heights and El Sereno neighborhoods.
"I think the voters will look at my record," said Huizar, who argued that his staff has done a "tremendous job."
Huizar denied the charges made in the lawsuit and his lawyer, in notifying the world about the affair, characterized that fact's omission from the lawsuit as undermining Godoy's credibility. Huizar is running for reelection and is scheduled to hold a fundraiser tonight at the Exchange club on Spring Street downtown. As I reported earlier, City Council President Herb Wesson is billed as the featured guest at the fundraiser.