LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Five months after Mayor Eric Garcetti's appointment as ambassador to India was announced by President Joe Biden, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday will consider the nomination.
Biden announced Garcetti's appointment on July 9. Garcetti's is entering his final year as mayor, since he is unable to run again due to term limits. He is scheduled to leave office in December 2022, unless he leaves earlier for the ambassador post.
The White House's July announcement about the nomination cited Garcetti's responsibilities overseeing the Western Hemisphere's busiest container port, the Port of Los Angeles; the largest municipal utility in the country, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power; one of the busiest airports, Los Angeles International Airport; and his time as chair of the second-busiest transit agency, the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
The White House also credited Garcetti with leading the city's successful bid to host the 2028 Olympics and co-founding Climate Mayors, a coalition of 400 U.S. mayors that adopted the Paris Climate agreement.
The nomination in July and the hearing on Tuesday comes amid accusations of misconduct and a mafia-like culture of silence within the mayor's office, which Garcetti claims he hasn't witnessed. His former adviser, Rick Jacobs, has been accused of sexual harassment in a lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles Police Department officer.
The officer claims Garcetti witnessed the misconduct but turned a blind eye to it. Garcetti has denied the allegation.
A representative for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, told the Los Angeles Times in November the committee was reviewing the lawsuit.
Rumors began in early May that Biden was considering Garcetti for the ambassadorship, but the mayor's office initially said it was speculative and the mayor was focused on guiding the city through the COVID-19 pandemic. Garcetti served as national co-chair of Biden's presidential campaign.
``I love Los Angeles and will always be an Angeleno. I want you to know that every day I am your mayor, I will continue to lead this city like it is my first day on the job, with passion, focus, and determination,'' Garcetti said after his nomination was announced.
The city charter assigns the City Council president, currently Nury Martinez, to serve as acting mayor when the mayor is out of the state. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Martinez would become acting mayor until an interim mayor is appointed by the council or a special election is held.
The council is unlikely to schedule a special election, since the mayoral primary is already set for June 2022.
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