Morning Brief: Political Bedfellows, The California Exodus, And Sand Dune Park
Good morning, L.A. It’s July 9.
A former advisor to Mayor Eric Garcetti who is accused of sexually harassing male colleagues continued to receive payments from the local carpenters’ union after the allegations came to light. The union is a longtime ally of Garcetti’s and has supported him since the beginning of his political career.
My colleague Aaron Mendelson reports that a filing to the U.S. Department of Labor shows 14 payments from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters to Rick Jacobs’ consulting firm totaling $215,000, between April 2020 and March of this year.
It’s not clear what type of work Jacobs was doing, and representatives from the union didn’t return our request for comment. However, Garcetti has said that he cut ties with Jacobs last October, and a mayor’s office spokesperson said the mayor had nothing to do with Jacobs’ contracting work with the union.
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The allegations against Jacobs first came to light in 2020, when LAPD officer Matthew Garza, then a member of Garcetti’s security detail, filed a lawsuit claiming that Jacobs routinely subjected Garza to unwanted touching. Jacobs’ actions, the lawsuit states, included hugging, grabbing Garza’s biceps, massaging his shoulders, and subjecting him to crude jokes and explicit descriptions of sexual topics.
Following Garza’s filing, three more men came forward with accusations against Jacobs.
Revelations about Jacobs’ ongoing relationship with the carpenters’ union have come about as sealed depositions from Garza’s suit are slowly made public. Yesterday afternoon, a deposition by Garcetti’s former director of communications was unsealed. Naomi Seligman testified she was told by a senior Garcetti staff member that Jacobs was untouchable.
Garcetti has maintained that he knew nothing about the alleged harassment, despite others’ testimony that he was present when some of it occurred.
Keep reading for more on what’s happening in L.A., and stay safe out there.
What Else You Need To Know Today
- Street vendors are pushing for a host of reforms — affordable permits, realistic cart designs and an end to harsh enforcement — to finally and truly legalize street vending in L.A.
- Peak corpse flower bloom time has come to an end at The Huntington Library, so no need to hold your nose next time you visit.
- Researchers have found that the much-ballyhooed "California Exodus" isn’t really a thing.
- We’d love to know: how have wildfires impacted your life?
There's a lot going on in the world right now, and it’s hard enough to keep up with our day-to-day lives, let alone to stay current on the news. But if you have some time this weekend, here’s what you may have missed:
LAPD detonated a massive cache of fireworks in South L.A. and caused a dangerous explosion. Now, residents want accountability. (LAist)
The site of Rockhaven Sanitarium, a pioneering mental health facility for women in Glendale, will become a museum. (LAist)
After a young father killed himself in Men’s Central Jail, the family has filed a lawsuit, saying he was supposed to be on suicide watch. (La Opinión)
L.A. has a new logo, and it’s transporting us back to the ‘80s. (LAist)
Austin Beutner has stepped down as LAUSD’s superintendent, and residents are looking back at what he accomplished during his tenure. (LAist)
Some renters in L.A. are still waiting for promised pandemic-related financial relief. (LAist)
An elaborate and stylish shelter was built on a hillside by an unhoused man in Pacoima, and has the support of the community. (San Fernando Valley Sun)
Calculate your California stimulus amount with this handy tool. (LAist)
Cocktail aficionados waited in line for five hours to return to Los Feliz’s beloved Tiki Ti bar when it reopened. (Eater LA)
Before You Go ... This Week's Outdoor Pick: Sand Dune Park
If you ate one too many hot dogs over the holiday weekend, a butt-kicker of a workout might be in order. Sand Dune Park in Manhattan Beach features a dune that’s about 100 feet high, and your lungs will burn by the time you reach the top.
Or, you could: Hear Danny Trejo discuss his memoir. Catch some live music. Watch noir films that add a touch of darkness to summer. Chow down on tlayudas, mochi ice cream, micheladas and pies. Tune in to Shark Week. And more.