Gary and Shannon

Gary and Shannon

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Sexual Battery in City Hall

Global Sports Week at Los Angeles Hub

Photo: Getty Images

Eric Garcetti’s former communications director is being suspected of covering up a culture of sexual battery, however, the story is not as simple as it may seem.

It began how many stories do, with a kiss.

It was April 2016 and Naomi Seligman the mayor’s communications director, was hosting an informal celebration in her office.

The day before, her boss, Eric Garcetti, had delivered his third State of the City address, a speech that had been considered a huge success among the mayor’s communications staff.

Then, Rick Jacobs, one of the mayor’s top advisors, burst into the room and the mood shifted dramatically.

“Rick grabbed me,” Seligman says, “pinned my arms and kissed me on the mouth for a long time in front of my staff. Then he let me go, said ‘Congratulations, everyone,’ and rushed out of the office.”

She was so stunned by what she describes as “sexual battery” that she immediately reported the extended embrace to Garcetti’s chief of staff, Ana Guerrero. Ana at the time was considered a close friend and confidant. “She just looked at me with a stony-eyed glare,” “She just rolled her eyes and said, ‘You know, there is nothing we can do about it.’”

“Our comms staff is a collection of some of the wokest folks in the building; not just in the mayor’s office, but in all of City Hall,” one of Seligman’s coworkers says. “There’s a zero percent chance there would be sexual harassment in the open against our boss and no one reported it.”

There are varying reports of what happened, and who said what in this story. To learn more, check out Gary and Shannon’s take on this story

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