LOS ANGELES – An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who accused ex-Mayor Eric Garcetti’s top aide of sexual harassment will receive a settlement of $1.8 million, which was just approved by city officials.
Los Angeles City Council members unanimously voted 13-0 to settle the 2020 lawsuit filed by Officer Matthew Garza. He was assigned as a member of Garcetti’s protective detail, the Daily Wire reported.
Garza accused Rick Jacobs of inappropriately touching and sexually harassing him over a period of several years. Additionally, at least two other male city employees who worked for Garcetti also accused Jacobs of groping them when he gave “unwanted hugs” and “touches,” while making “sexual comments.”
Yet another city staff member told the Los Angeles Times that Jacob’s harassing behavior was “something everyone talked about” in the mayor’s office.
Greg Smith, Garza’s attorney, told the Times that his client was defamed by the city.
“The city attempted to vilify Officer Garza when he spoke truth to power,” Smith said.
However, he was thankful that city leaders finally yielded and awarded Garza a settlement.
“I applaud the 13 to 0 vote by the City Council, affirming the merit of this case. Enabling predators isn’t leadership — residents of Los Angeles deserved better,” said Smith.
Jacobs reportedly acknowledged “it’s possible” that he may have made sexual jokes, but denied engaging in sexual misconduct.
In the now-settled lawsuit, Garza claimed that Garcetti and his wife, Amy Wakeland, witnessed Jacobs’ behavior, something they both denied.
Whistleblower Aid is a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit legal organization that supports people who report government and corporate lawbreaking
“Today’s settlement underscores the validity and seriousness of the allegations that Garcetti and his team fought so hard to deny and suppress,” Whistleblower Aid CEO Libby Liu told the Daily Wire.
“It would not have been possible without the bravery and determination of a few individuals from inside Garcetti’s mayoral administration who refused to roll over for the sake of his future career ambitions and told the truth under oath,” Liu noted. “The size of the settlement speaks volumes about the power of the evidence that these whistleblowers presented and the importance of holding enablers accountable.”