Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti (D.) asked top aide Rick Jacobs to take a leave of absence after three new sexual misconduct allegations against him surfaced last week, the Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday.
Garcetti said he's "separated" from his adviser after journalist Yashar Ali and two other unnamed men accused Jacobs of making unwanted sexual advances. This comes three months after Los Angeles police officer Matthew Garza, who worked as Garcetti's bodyguard, first accused Jacobs of sexual harassment in a complaint he sent to California state authorities in July.
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Garcetti told the Times that he has never witnessed his aide act inappropriately, and Jacobs has denied wrongdoing.
Jacobs worked in city government for 17 years, serving as Garcetti's deputy chief of staff and, later, political adviser. Before taking leave, Jacobs was also the treasurer of the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, a nonprofit organization that directs resources from businesses, charities, and city government to projects in the community.
While Garcetti said the decision for Jacobs to step down was "mutual," he's emphasized to reporters this week that his former adviser "does not represent" him and no longer works with him. Garcetti co-chairs Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden's national campaign and is on Biden's list of potential cabinet members. The mayor missed a scheduled campaign event appearance last week after the allegations surfaced.