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Former Garcetti lawyer describes elevator incident involving counselor

Mayor Eric Garcetti intervened when his former high-level adviser opposed an assistant as they and others were crammed into a small elevator on Capitol Hill, the woman testified in a deposition.

The allegation is the latest development in a lawsuit brought by Matthew Garza, a Los Angeles police officer who accused Garcetti’s former adviser Rick Jacobs of sexually harassing him.

In his trial, Garza alleged that he was subjected to shoulder rubs, hugs and sexual comments by Jacobs from 2014 to 2019, and the mayor witnessed the behavior but did not. not stopped. Jacobs has denied sexually harassing anyone.

Julia Brooke Ciardullo, Garcetti’s former chief legal counsel, described an incident in 2017 in a crowded Capitol elevator in Washington, DC

Once in the elevator, Jacobs joked that the elevator was too tight, invaded his personal space and got too close, Ciardullo said in his June 24 statement, which was reviewed Tuesday by The Times.

“I told her to cut it,” she said. “And he was, you know, joking and laughing and… I don’t remember if I told him to cut it again, but basically the mayor told him too.” And I’m not saying those are his exact words, but [Garcetti] said something like, you know, “Stop” or “Cut it.” “

Garza’s attorney asked her if Jacobs had made physical contact, she replied, “I guess.”

“I mean, if you ask if there was any bodily contact like I said, I mean, it’s – possible.” Likely. Yes, ”Ciardullo said. Later in the deposition, she testified that she was holding a large bag in front of her and that Jacobs may have pushed against the bag and not against her body.

She also testified that what happened in the elevator was not sexual harassment.

A statement released by the mayor’s office on Tuesday evening said that Garcetti “does not remember what was described in the testimony, but Ms Ciardullo is a person of high character and integrity – and her description is consistent with the way he would handle any situation where he witnesses someone behaving in an unprofessional manner.

Jacobs could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Ciardullo is now director of the office of the C40 chair, an umbrella organization of mayors of large cities.

The disclosure of her testimony comes a week after Garcetti placed her chief of staff, Ana Guerrero, on administrative leave in response to revelations about derogatory statements she made to a private Facebook group about the work icon. Dolores Huerta and others.

The existence of this Facebook group was first revealed in depositions in the police officer’s trial. It comes as Garcetti, according to sources, is being considered to become an ambassador to India.

During testimony in Garza’s lawsuit against the city earlier this year, Garcetti denied allegations that he had knowledge of sexual harassment or misconduct by Jacobs.

In her testimony, Ciardullo said she did not see Jacobs behave inappropriately with Garza.

Jeremy Bernard, the former head of the Los Angeles mayor’s fund, said in a separate deposition that he overheard Garcetti express his surprise that the city had not been prosecuted for Jacobs’ behavior.

Garcetti, in his own testimony, denied making such a statement to Bernard, a former social secretary to President Obama.

Another former Garcetti aide, Henry Casas, also said Jacobs repeatedly touched Garza, adding that he too was hugged and his biceps pressed by Jacobs. Casas testified that it was common knowledge in the mayor’s office that Jacobs behaved inappropriately towards male employees.

Other depositions in the trial remain under seal at the request of the city. The Times asked a judge to make this testimony public.

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