Disparaging Facebook Posts Land Garcetti Chief Of Staff Ana Guerrero On Administrative Leave
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti has placed his longtime chief of staff on administrative leave after disparaging Facebook posts she wrote surfaced in the media.
The social media posts by the mayor’s Chief of Staff, Ana Guerrero, date back as far as 2016. They’ve been uncovered at a time when the workplace culture at city hall is under a spotlight because of a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former Garcetti bodyguard.
The comments were reportedly shared in a small private Facebook group called “Solid Gold” that included other L.A. city employees, Garcetti supporters and friends of Guerrero.
Some of the posts, as first reported last week by the L.A. Times, involved sexual innuendo or demeaning emojis underneath photos of city staff members or elected officials. For example, under a photo of then-newly hired Planning Director Vince Bertoni wearing a wetsuit at the beach, Guerrero wrote that she and a colleague “looked LONG and HARD for someone that might be easy on the eye.”
More Posts Uncovered
On Tuesday, more damning posts were reported by The Times. In 2016, Guerrero commented on a photo of the iconic farm workers organizer and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, saying “I hate her. You hate her,” and followed with an insult in Spanish, “Viejita envidiosa!,” meaning jealous old lady.
Garcetti’s office confirmed to our newsroom that Guerrero will be on administrative leave for the foreseeable future. At least one month of that will be unpaid.
When asked about the posts, Guerrero reportedly apologized, telling the Times her comments were “offensive and wrong.” She has been Garcetti’s Chief of Staff for about 13 years, dating back to his time on the city council.
The revelation that Garcetti’s top aide wrote inappropriate social media comments targeting other members of city government comes while the mayor’s team is navigating a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a former member of Garcetti’s security detail. In addition, Garcetti is reportedly being considered as President Joe Biden’s choice for Ambassador to India.
LAPD officer Matthew Garza sued the city of L.A. last July, alleging Garcetti and top mayor’s office staff members looked the other way while longtime Garcetti advisor Rick Jacobs sexually harassed Garza — including giving unwanted hugs, making lewd comments and explicit jokes in the presence of the Mayor and his aides.
Jacobs has denied sexually harassing Garza. Garcetti and several members of his current staff, including Guerrero, have denied under oath that they saw or knew anything about Jacobs’ alleged harassment. But several former members of the Mayor’s staff and his non-profit, The Mayor’s Fund, have testified they either saw Jacobs engage in inappropriate behavior, or heard about it.
In her January deposition in Matthew Garza v. City of Los Angeles, Guerrero was asked if she ever mentioned Rick Jacobs in a post. “I don’t remember,” Guerrero replied.