An officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who served in Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s protection detail is claiming in a lawsuit that an advisor to Garcetti repeatedly sexually harassed him while Garcetti was present and Garcetti did not intervene.
The lawsuit was filed by LAPD officer Matthew Garza, whose stint protecting Garcetti began in October 2013. The allegations from Garza focus on Rick Jacobs, asserting that Garza was “subjected to unwanted sexual harassment by Jacobs, who is openly gay.” The complaint alleges, “Jacobs was particularly liberal with his comments and advances toward Plaintiff when Plaintiff would accompany Mayor Garcetti on out-of-town trips where Jacobs was also present.”
The complaint states Jacobs made comments such as “You’re so strong and handsome,” “Your muscles are so tight,” and “I love me my strong LAPD officers.” It also states, “The Mayor took no action to stop the comments from being made or even identify the comments as being inappropriate. On some occasions, the Mayor would laugh at Jacobs’ crude comments,” adding that Garcetti was present on “approximately half of the occasions when Jacobs behaved in this way.”
The complaint asserts, “On over a dozen occasions, both while Jacobs was employed by the City and after he left City employment, staffers in Mayor Garcetti’s office apologized to Plaintiff for Jacobs’ harassing conduct and comments, including telling Plaintiff words to the effect of, ‘I’m sorry you have to deal with that, he’s such a pig.’ Nevertheless, the Mayor’s office never took any action to stop Jacobs’ harassment of Plaintiff.”
Jacobs referred to having “rough sex” with his gay partners and liking “big c***s,” the lawsuit alleges, according to Fox LA, which added that the lawsuit also alleges Garcetti was sitting directly next to Jacobs when Jacobs would massage Garza’s shoulder and say, “You’re so strong; I love my LAPD officers.”
The lawsuit states that Garza left Garcetti’s detail “because of the continual touchings, comments, and vulgar behavior directed at him by Jacobs and silently condoned by the Mayor of the City of Los Angeles.”
In April 2018, Garcetti signed an executive directive to “improve reporting and investigation of harassment and discrimination.” He stated, “Everyone in Los Angeles has the right to feel safe in their workplace. City Hall must set an example for L.A.’s entire workforce, by making a systemic shift in how we handle sexual harassment and discrimination reporting.”
The directive asserted, “The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently released the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace, a report that estimates that 90 percent of incidents of harassment do not result in formal complaints, indicating that nationwide, these incidents may be more prevalent than statistics would suggest. Victims of harassment and discrimination face considerable barriers to filing formal complaints due to fear of blame, disbelief or retaliation. As a City, we must administer policies and practices that prevent harassment and discrimination, as well as support those who wish to report their experiences.”