Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s chief of staff, Ana Guerrero, was put on leave Tuesday after comments she posted in a private Facebook group mocking labor activist Dolores Huerta and other city officials were made public. Garcetti’s office is also grappling with allegations that a former deputy chief of staff made unwanted advances on a police officer who was part of the mayor’s security detail.
Guerrero, who has held the position of top aide since 2013, reportedly posted about Huerta and others four years ago in a group named “Solid Gold.” Her comments included disparaging remarks on the physical appearance of a city council aide, as well as suggestive comments on a shirtless photo of Vince Bertoni, the city’s planning director. Of Huerta, Guerrero reportedly called her a “jealous old lady” and said, “I hate her.”
A spokesman for Garcetti said Tuesday that Guerrero had been placed on administrative leave and wouldn’t be paid for one month.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Mention of the Solid Gold group came up in depositions related to the lawsuit brought against Garcetti’s former deputy chief of staff, Rick Jacobs. Jacobs has denied allegations that he sexually harassed a police officer and made unwanted physical contact with him. The lawsuit is ongoing.
The revelations about Guerrero raise questions about the culture inside the mayor’s office, and it’s unclear the extent to which Garcetti was aware of the problem. In March, the former head of the nonprofit Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles testified that Garcetti had said he was surprised the city hadn’t yet been sued over Jacobs’s tenure at City Hall.
Guerrero has also testified in the case against Jacobs, reportedly asking him to stop using his self-anointed title of “executive vice mayor,” which was initially reported as a sign of his growing influence at City Hall.
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