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Councilman Says He Had Affair With Former Staffer Who Sued Him For Sexual Harassment

Jose Huizar in 2011 (Photo by josehuizar via Flickr)
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Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar says that he had a consensual affair with a staffer who just filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against him today.

Francine Godoy, Huizar's former deputy chief of staff of seven years, claims in a lawsuit filed today that Huizar offered to support her in an election campaign in exchange for sex. It's worth noting that Godoy hasn't claimed that they two actually had any kind of a sexual relationship, consensual or otherwise, in the complaints that she's filed to date.

Huizar, through his attorney's spokesman Robert Alaniz, denies the claims of harassment but says that the pair engaged in a "consensual" relationship that he now "deeply regrets," according to City News Service. Alaniz told CNS, "He has apologized to his wife and family and he and his wife are currently working on repairing their marriage." Huizar's attorney claims that Godoy is trying to damage the council member's reputation because he didn't help her career advance in the way she expected.

Godoy worked for Huizar for most of his tenure as city councilman, but she left this April, taking a job in the city's Bureau of Sanitation that paid $119,000 (taking a slight pay cut from her $132,000 salary while working for Huizar), according to the Los Angeles Times.

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Godoy's lawsuit claims that Huizar suggested the Godoy run for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees in 2012. The suit says that in October at about this time Huizar called Godoy to his office and made her an offer: "if she wanted his continued support in her campaign for the (community college board), she would have to have sex with him."

The suit says that when Godoy refused, Huizar got angry and retaliated against her, instructing her to work from home: "Plaintiff would sit at home much of her time with no work to perform since she was being retaliated against by Huizar due to her refusal to have sex with him."

Godoy filed a complaint claiming Huizar had sexually harassed and retaliated against her in June with the state's Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

Related:
Councilmember Jose Huizar Hit With Sexual Harassment Complaint