Taking a Photo Maskless Is Not the Only Reason Eric Garcetti Is Holding His Breath – Opinion

Naomi Seligman is the former communications director of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and appears to have a mission: to prevent Garcetti from becoming Ambassador to India.

RedState has reported on Garcetti‘s ineptitude and corruption. From his failure to address the Los Angeles’ homelessness crisis, to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power scandals, to his questionable charities and associations, there is a boatload of criminal negligence and malfeasance that should have tanked any aspirations that Garcetti had for higher office.

However, on January 12, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted to advance Garcetti’s nomination to the full Senate.

A Senate panel on Wednesday, Jan. 12, backed Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ambassadorship to India, sending the nomination to a full Senate vote, along with several other picks.

Garcetti was not present for the procedural hearing, during which the vote to support his nomination was done as part of a batch of ambassadorship picks before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Last July, President Joe Biden declared the nomination for Garcetti. Garcetti is currently unable to run for another term due to terms limits. Except if he departs earlier for the post of ambassador, Garcetti’s term expires in December 2022. Garcetti, a Biden campaign chairperson and longtime political ally, is retiring in December 2022.

It is unclear when the confirmation vote on Garcetti’s nomination is expected to be taken up by the full Senate.

However, the approval of the committee comes in spite of concerns about Garcetti’s neglect to address instances of sexual harassment from Rick Jacobs who was a prominent fundraiser and an ex-staffer at his office.

As RedState also reported, Garcetti’s nomination was first being slow walked. Garcetti was summoned to Washington, D.C., to give evidence before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Only one senator, Jeanne Shaheen from New Hampshire, asked Garcetti about his sexual harassment suit. Garcetti said he didn’t know about harassment. This is what Garcetti has repeated in interview and depositions.

Seligman was able to give her and her lawyer the space they required by submitting the motion before the committee.

Whistleblower Aid, an organisation that advocates whistleblowers filed a formal complaint on February 2, 2021 to these entities.

  • Criminal Division, Public Integrity Section of the U.S. Department of Justice
  • California Attorney General Office
  • The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office
  • The California State Auditor’s Office, Investigations Division
  • California State Personnel Board
  • Los Angeles Ethics Commission

There is an extensive list of criminal agencies in both the local and federal jurisdictions. It shows that Seligman, and her counsel, are serious about their goals. Although the primary accusation is felony perjury it also includes cases of criminal conspiracy and unlawful whistleblower reprisal.

The complaint brings the receipts, from emails, deposition testimony, and documented news sources that show Garcetti was well aware of Jacobs’ behavior, did nothing about it, and even demanded it be covered up. In doing so, but then denying any knowledge of Jacobs’ alleged harassment, Garcetti willfully gave false information to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The complaint contains additional evidence from people who allege Jacobs has harassed, abused, or threatened them.

Perjury was once only applicable to jury trials. Recent changes have allowed the crime to be expanded to include other legal proceedings such as civil lawsuits and grand juries. Audiences in Congress.

If the full Senate chooses to consider Seligman’s complaint, and it factors into their decision making, Garcetti’s nomination could be effectively denied, and he could face up to five years imprisonment for lying under oath.

And that’s just the starters.

A redacted copy of the complaint is available:

Naomi Seligman is a whistleblower who disclosed significant evidence of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s felony perjury. This includes covering up multiple and severe sexual assaults and harassments perpetrated by Rick Jacobs (his close advisor) against over a dozen victims. The incidents extended over a period of years, including when Mr. Jacobs served as the Mayor’s Deputy Chief of Staff among other senior roles.

Garcetti is President Biden’s nominee to become the next United States Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of India.

Garcetti’s nomination is now being considered by the United States Senate.


My client suffered from sexual abuse by Mr. Jacobs. Between March 2015 and September 2017, Ms. Seligman worked as the Office for the Mayor of Los Angeles’ Director of Communications. Under penalty of perjury, she testified that Mr. Jacobs grabbed Ms. Seligman’s lower back and pinned him against her chest on April 14, 2016.

Jacobs was not the only one who had bad experiences.

Garcetti knew all about Jacobs’ abuses: The mayor heard about many incidents from his staff and others, and personally witnessed multiple episodes. Garcetti didn’t discipline Jacobs, nor held him responsible in any way.

The complaint goes on to say that Seligman has legally documented and testimony evidence that shows Garcetti ordered the entire mayoral staff to cover up Jacobs’ actions and behavior.

For example, when my client notified Ana Guerrero, then the mayor’s Chief of Staff, of her assault, Guerrero did not act surprised; instead Guerrero told Ms. Seligman that no complaints would be tolerated because Mr. Jacobs was important to the mayor. Garcetti’s motive was apparently to protect his close friend and top aide.

The complaint then details how Garcetti misled the legacy media and lied in deposition testimony. The complaint states that Seligman is calling for Garcetti’s removal from any public office, and for his immediate prosecution.

My client reasonably believes Garcetti’s perjury, further to his complicity in and coverup for Jacobs’ abuse over many years, renders him unfit to hold public office, and urges your agencies to investigate and prosecute immediately.

Where Seligman and her attorney bring new information to the table is in the testimony of other individuals not named in Garza’s lawsuit or in other news sources, who corroborate Jacobs’ craven patterns. Among them, former Chief Counsel to the Mayor Julie Ciardullo, Communications Staffer Alex Comisar, and Director of the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement Henry Casas.

Ms. Seligman also testified that she witnessed Mr. Jacobs engage in inappropriate physical actions and interactions on numerous occasions. Others have also confided in me that Jacobs inappropriately touched and harassed their sexuality.

In one episode, my client saw Jacobs looking over at a member of the Mayor’s security detail while he picked up a piece of arugula at a Mayoral fundraiser and moved it in and out of his open mouth in a crude sexual gesture.

Julie Ciardullo. Julie Ciardullo was my then-chief attorney. She told me about an incident that took place in an elevator at the U.S. Senate Building with Jacobs Garcetti, Garcetti, and other people. Ms. Seligman stated under oath what Ms. Ciardullo told her: “Jacobs blocked her into a corner and started pushing into her, back and forth, and she was asking, begging [Jacobs]To stop, he continued pushing against her and eventually, pushing towards her. [Garcetti] had to intervene and tell him to get off of her.”

Alex Comisar: In 2019, Alex Comisar, a member of the Mayor’s communications staff, complained repeatedly to my client about harassment, and sent my client a text message saying: “Got hit on by Rick again”

Another witness, Henry Casas, confirmed Jacobs’ behavior: “‘Massaging the shoulders, hugging. Inappropriate, I guess, things that would come out of his mouth, … I definitely was uncomfortable,’ Casas said.”

The complaint further outlines not only Garcetti’s disregard of the allegations against Jacobs, but Garcetti’s stated intention to continue to work with Jacobs, even after reports of Jacobs’ harassment were documented and Jacobs had been officially removed from his official staff position.

As late as 2017, Garcetti has ensured Jacobs remained active in city affairs, first appointing Jacobs CEO of the Accelerator for America, Garcetti’s urban economic solutions non-profit. Garcetti authorized Jacobs’ travel with his delegation to Europe to secure the 2028 Olympic bid for Los Angeles. Garcetti also made Jacobs a director of the Democratic Midterm Victory Fund—an active fundraising post that Jacobs held through 2018.

Rick Jacobs is still a power broker and financial donor to political candidates. He founded RDJ Strategy Advisors. It has clients in labor, foundation, and others.

Los Angeles’ taxpayers must demand more than the Senate confirmation. Los Angeles taxpayers need to ask Jacobs why he continues to collaborate with Garcetti. And why he has been allowed to eat from the city’s food. That is something we ought to be doing for Garcetti, too. Since Biden selected Garcetti for the Ambassadorship in May 2021, Garcetti has remained mostly anonymous. However, Garcetti has shot himself in the foot with the recent controversy over him posing for photos without a mask at last Sunday’s NFC Championship game in Los Angeles. California remains under emergency and Los Angeles County has strict mask requirements. Garcetti spoke in the reckless fashion that he’s known for.

“I’ll take personal responsibility and if it makes you and everybody else happy or even the photographs with people where I’m literally holding my breath for two seconds I won’t even do that.”

Garcetti once was regarded as the presidential candidate; now, he is struggling to make it through a hearing before a committee for an ambassadorship. If the Senate finds basis in Naomi Seligman’s complaint, this could be the end of the road for Garcetti and his illusions of greater glory.

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