Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) asked that the ambassador bid of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti be delayed until there is an investigation over his knowledge of sexual harassment allegations against a former advisor.

In a letter obtained and made public by Politico, Grassley informed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that he would be objecting the nomination of Garcetti as Ambassador to India, saying he had received “numerous credible allegations from multiple whistleblowers” claiming that Garcetti was aware of misconduct within L.A. City Hall.

“The allegations involving the mayor’s office have been the subject of public reporting and a purportedly independent investigation. However, serious questions remain regarding the alleged misconduct, as well as the mayor’s knowledge of that misconduct,” Grassley said in the letter sent on March 10. “The investigation of the Los Angeles mayor’s office reportedly found no wrongdoing by the mayor or his staff. However, information provided by multiple whistleblowers strongly suggests that this investigation was incomplete at best.”

Garcetti answered questions on the senate floor on Dec. 14, 2021, with the senate committee asking about allegations that Garcetti was aware of sexual harassment occurring within Los Angeles City Hall.

“Simply said… harassment and discrimination have no place in the workplace, no place in our society and I have zero tolerance for that,” Garcetti said. “In regards to this specific case, I want to say unequivocally that I never witnessed, nor was it brought to my attention, the behavior that’s been alleged. I also want to assure you that if it had been, I would have immediately taken action to stop that.”

The allegations came against Garcetti’s former advisor Rick Jacobs who was accused of inappropriate touching by several men in 2020, according to a report by the L.A. Times.

Garcetti cut ties with Jacobs, but is still accused of knowing what had been happening.

The White House released a statement of support for Garcetti, saying President Joe Biden has “confidence” in him.

“Mayor Garcetti has been clear that he takes any allegations of harassment very seriously and has made clear this type of misconduct is unacceptable in his office in any form,” the White House said in a statement. “He has also said that he never witnessed this behavior nor was told about it prior to the litigation. The president has confidence in Mayor Garcetti and believes he’ll be an excellent representative in India.”

Grassley said he and his staff would be conducting an investigation into the Garcetti allegations and would not vote to confirm the mayor until the investigation is complete.

LA Weekly