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After FBI Raid, Richelle Huizar Won't Be Running For Her Husband's Council Seat After All

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Richelle Huizar, the wife of Los Angeles City Councilman José Huizar, is ending her bid to take his seat two weeks after their Boyle Heights home and two of her husband's district offices were searched by the FBI.

In a written statement, Richelle Huizar says she's withdrawing to focus on family. A consultant for her campaign confirmed the news to LAist.

"I look forward to continuing to work on issues I'm passionate about and staying involved in improving our communities," she said in the statement.

José Huizar was first elected to the City Council in 2005 and will be termed out in two years. His wife announced her candidacy to replace him in September. Now the future of District 14, which includes Eagle Rock, downtown LA and Boyle Heights, remains unclear.

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Councilman Huizar has faced several accusations of unethical behavior in recent years. In September, city officials reported receiving a complaint about Huizar through a site set up to report discrimination, harassment and retaliation.
Then in October, his former executive assistant and scheduler filed a lawsuit against the councilman and the city, alleging retaliation and ethical violations.

The former employee also believed José Huizar and others in his office "violated local, state, and federal law" on multiple occasions, including for planning the city council campaign for Richelle Huizar "on the City's time and dime," according to the lawsuit.

The FBI has not elaborated on the investigation into Huizar, citing a sealed affadavit, but said a total of seven warrants were executed as investigators looked for evidence based on allegations of criminal activity.

No arrests have been made, according to authorities.

Huizar was removed from council committees last week and had been absent from City Council meetings since FBI agents searched his offices and home, but returned to City Hall on Tuesday.

José Huizar is among two sitting council members who've been involved in sexual harassment settlements in recent years. In Oct. 2013, his former deputy chief of staff sued him for sexual harassment and retaliation. Huizar then admitted to having an affair with the woman.

The Los Angeles Times reported his case was settled privately back in 2014.

Ryan Fonseca contributed to this story.

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