Complaint Filed Against Councilman Jose Huizar On Site For Reporting Misconduct

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar leads a press conference about the Operation Healthy Streets initiative at the Volunteers of America building near Skid Row in this 2014 file photo. (Photo by Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC)

The city of Los Angeles has received a complaint against Councilman Jose Huizar on a site set up to report discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

The specifics of the allegations, and the identity of the person who made them, aren't public. But the complaint was filed through a new website called MyVoiceLA, which was introduced earlier this year by Mayor Eric Garcetti.

The report was sent to Council President Herb Wesson on September 13, according to Bruce Whidden, head of the city's Personnel Department.

Under city policy, a special committee is being set up to investigate the claims, since they involve an elected official, Whidden told KPCC/LAist.

"Council President Wesson takes personnel issues very seriously, and as such immediately authorized the personnel department to pursue the matter," Vanessa Rodriguez, Wesson's spokeswoman, said in a statement.

Huizar said he was unaware of the details of the complaint and unable to comment.

"I can say that I take great pains to ensure that my staff and I conduct City business in a professional environment and treat all employees and visitors with the upmost (sic) dignity and respect," Huizar said in a statement. "Given that, I am quite frankly confounded under what basis anyone would have to file a legitimate complaint. Obviously, I take this matter seriously and look forward to a full, transparent and expeditious resolution."

In 2013, Huizar's former deputy chief of staff sued him, alleging sexual harassment. They eventually settled the suit.

Huizar's wife, Richelle, announced she would run to replace him after he terms out in 2020. That announcement came on the same day Wesson's office received the complaint against her husband.

UPDATES:

Friday 11:23 a.m.: Updated with statement from Councilman Wesson's office.

Aaron Mendelson and Brian Frank contributed to this report.


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