Journalist Yashar Ali claims adviser for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti forcibly kissed him for over a decade

Politics

Yashar Ali, a prominent journalist, posted an article late Monday claiming that one of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s top advisers “forcibly kissed” him over the span of a decade and cited sources that described the mayor as an ambitious politician willing to overlook these alleged encounters.

Ali titled his article on Substack, “Exclusive: Mayor of Los Angeles Repeatedly Witnessed Top Adviser’s Alleged Sexual Misconduct.”

He wrote that from 2005 through 2015, Rick Jacobs, the adviser, would forcibly kiss him on the lips at various events. Ali said he used to work in politics and considered Jacobs a friend at the time. He said that these incidents would happen in front of others.

“Jacobs would grab my face and kiss me on the lips — always twice — and he would turn to other people who witnessed it and say, “He has the softest lips,’” Ali wrote.

The writer pointed to a lawsuit from a Los Angeles police officer who once served as part of Garcetti’s protection detail in October 2013. Matthew Garza, a 23-year-veteran, claimed that Jacobs would hug him without consent and make unprofessional remarks like: “you’re so strong and handsome,” “your muscles are so tight” and “I love me my strong LAPD officers.”

OCT. 19: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been criticized over his handling of allegations leveled against a former adviser.

OCT. 19: Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has been criticized over his handling of allegations leveled against a former adviser.

The complaint claimed Jacob’s behavior was “silently condoned by the Mayor and City of Los Angeles” and spanned several years. The suit said Garcetti “took no action to stop the comments from being made or even identify the comments as being inappropriate.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that the suit also alleged that Garcetti would, on some occasions, “laugh at Jacobs’ crude comments.” 

A spokesperson for Garcetti’s office at the time disputed Garza’s accounts.

“The Mayor has zero tolerance for sexual harassment and unequivocally did not witness the behavior that Officer Garza alleges,” a statement to Fox News said at the time.

Jacobs also responded in July to the allegations in an email to the Times, “This lawsuit is a work of pure fiction, and is out of left field. Officer Garza and I worked together for many years without incident. I will vigorously defend myself, my character and my reputation.”

Ali wrote that the “allegations laid out in Garza’s complaint sounded familiar to me” and the lawsuit was a “moment that many Garcetti staffers had been dreading: when allegations of sexual misconduct by Jacobs, and the acceptance of it by the mayor — long an open secret among staff — would be exposed, putting the administration in the crosshairs of a possible investigation.”

Garcetti’s office and Jacobs did not respond to an email seeking comment from Fox News. 

Ali told Fox 11 Los Angeles late Monday that Garcetti’s office should have taken the earlier allegations more seriously. He said his sources told him that Garcetti’s office failed to investigate earlier claims against Jacobs.

The Times reported that Garcetti has “publicly stood by” Jacobs and referred to him a “committed public servant” just a month after Garza’s lawsuit. Jacobs serves on the board of directors of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, the paper said. Garcetti reportedly said Jacobs should be able to work for the nonprofit during the litigation.

Ali said he spoke to more than a dozen sources in the span of three months for his report. He said none would speak on the record. Ali tweeted that sources told him that Garcetti witnessed Jacobs “sexually harass and assault people over the past six years. And not only did the Mayor not do anything to stop it, he’s kept Jacobs in his position.”

He said these sources said Garcetti is fixated on the White House and “hasn’t just been measuring the drapes in the Oval Office, he has been planning his presidential library.” Ali said these allegations could derail Garcetti’s political career.

The Times reported last week that several publications noted that Garcetti may be considered for Joe Biden’s cabinet, should the Democrat defeat President Trump in 2020.

The paper said Garcetti, the co-chair of the Biden campaign, gave a vague answer when asked those prospects and said “it’s more likely than not” he’ll complete his term, which ends in 2022.

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“I never want to put myself in the middle of a story, but in this case, I’ve been left with no choice. Several prominent news outlets have slow-walked this story. I also ethically can’t report out this news without revealing that I have been a victim of Jacobs’ misconduct as well,” Ali wrote.

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