Photo by Art Torres.
Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar admitted to having a ”consensual relationship” with a former aide Thursday after she filed a lawsuit against him for sexual harassment and retaliation.
Francine Godoy, 34, a former deputy chef of staff to Huizar, alleges she was subject to regular physical and verbal sexual harassment, including propositions for sexual favors.
According to a statement by his attorneys, Huizar was shocked by the allegations, calling them “absolutely false and malicious.”
Godoy claims when she refused the Councilman’s advances, he began a “campaign of retaliation” against her. As stated in the lawsuit, Huizar told Godoy “if she wanted his continued support in her campaign for the Community College Board of Trustees, she would have to have sex with him.”
She says Huizar dropped his support for the position, telling the Faculty Guild she was not capable of running for the position because she had an ill brother who needed her care. Court documents say afterwards Godoy was told, “to work from home, [and] her assignments and duties were cut significantly.”
However, a statement by Robert Alaniz, a spokesman to the councilman’s attorneys, says “the lawsuit fails to mention that Ms. Godoy and the Councilmember had an occasional and consensual relationship, which the Councilmember deeply regrets.”
Alaniz adds: “When the true facts come out it will reveal that Ms. Godoy is someone seeking todamage the Councilmember’s reputation because he would not help advance hercareer as she expected.”
Godoy was hired by the City of Los Angeles in 2006, earning $47,000 annually. She became Deputy Chief of Staff during her employment and was reportedly earning $132,000 when she left in April. She is now employed by the Bureau of Sanitation.
Huizar, 45, was elected as the 14th District’s Councilman in 2005. He has been married to his wife Richelle for 14 years, and they have three daughters and a son.
Attorney Michael Eisenberg represents Godoy.