City Hall

Wesson calls Huizar his 'best friend' on the City Council

wesson-cbs2-grab.jpgBehind the closed doors of embattled City Councilman Jose Huizar's downtown fundraiser on Monday night, Council President Herb Wesson did more than just say some nice words. In cellphone video obtained by CBS 2's Dave Bryan, Wesson told the crowd of political insiders that Huizar was his best friend on the council. "Mr. Huizar is like my brother," Wesson is heard saying. "My best friend on the council. I trust him with my life..."

The context of the remarks, made to donors supporting Huizar's reelection bid next year, is that a few days earlier Huizar admitted that he had been having an affair with a young woman on his staff — a staffer who received several promotions and more than doubled her salary to over $100,000 a year before leaving earlier this year. Francine Godoy, at one time Huizar's deputy chief of staff, alleges in a lawsuit that Huizar demanded sexual favors from her and retaliated when she did not go along. She moved to a job in the city's bureau of sanitation before suing. Huizar denies the lawsuit accusations and said Tuesday the affair was a huge mistake.

Another bit of context is that before the suit was filed, but around the time that Godoy filed a job harassment complaint against Huizar with the state earlier this year, Wesson quietly convened a panel to look into some unspecified accusation of wrongdoing by an unnamed council member. It now looks as if Huizar was that council member.

More by Kevin Roderick:
'In on merit' at USC
Read the memo: LA Times hires again
Read the memo: LA Times losing big on search traffic
Google taking over LA's deadest shopping mall
Gustavo Arellano, many others join LA Times staff
Recent City Hall stories on LA Observed:
Inequality and city hall in Los Angeles
Politicians, pay your bill
Wesson cautious on city hall probe
City hall's poisoned PLUM
Put Jamal Khashoggi Square outside the Saudi consulate on Sawtelle
Ryu says Korean Americans must step up
UCLA study calls for rent control tightening
Ignored in downtown L.A.'s new glitter?