Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s high aide posted sexual innuendo and disparaging feedback about metropolis workers and politicians on a non-public Fb group that included different mayoral employees and supporters, based on posts reviewed by The Instances.

On the Fb group Strong Gold, Garcetti chief of employees Ana Guerrero and different members posted insults a couple of former council aide and mocking emojis a couple of gathering of metropolis and state officers.

Guerrero additionally made a suggestive remark within the Fb group about Vince Bertoni, who was employed by Garcetti in 2016 as the town’s new Director of Planning. She commented on a photograph which confirmed the brand new planning director with relations on the seashore, holding a surfboard and carrying a wetsuit pulled right down to his waist.

“Kelli and I seemed LONG and HARD for somebody that could be straightforward on the attention,” Guerrero wrote within the feedback beneath the put up.

Guerrero gave the impression to be referring to Kelli Bernard, who previously labored as Garcetti’s Deputy Mayor of Financial Improvement and helped rent Bertoni. Bernard couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

After The Instances inquired with the mayor’s workplace about her Fb messages, Guerrero issued an announcement expressing regret.

“These years-old posts have been jokes between me and a small group of shut associates, they usually have been by no means meant to be seen exterior that context,” she mentioned. “I deeply remorse partaking in such a humor, even with shut associates. It’s all the time been considered one of my high priorities to create a secure, supportive work atmosphere right here that conjures up individuals to serve this metropolis with dedication and compassion, and that’s what I’ll proceed to do.”

Revelations about Guerrero’s touch upon Bertoni’s seems to be come as the town is coping with a sexual harassment lawsuit filed over one other Garcetti aide, former deputy chief of employees Rick Jacobs. These allegations have generated a lot consideration amid experiences that Garcetti is anticipated to be nominated by the Biden administration to turn out to be the U.S. ambassador to India.

The non-public Fb group included a number of individuals in Garcetti’s orbit, together with staffers, appointees and supporters. Pals of Guerrero have been additionally included within the invite-only group.

Garcetti was not a member of the Strong Gold group, mayoral spokesman Alex Comisar mentioned Wednesday. As chief of employees, Guerrero was the very best rating particular person within the mayor’s workplace to take part in it.

Yeghig Keshishian, spokesman for the Division of Metropolis Planning, mentioned Bertoni was unaware of Guerrero’s Fb group or their messages about him.

The picture of Bertoni that appeared within the Strong Gold Fb group was taken in 2010 at a beachfront memorial ceremony to honor Bertoni’s husband’s grandfather. Bertoni and several other members of his household did a “paddle out” to recollect the grandfather, an avid surfer, Keshishian mentioned in an e mail.

“Whereas we have now not heard of or seen the alleged feedback on the put up, we’re assured that the mayor and his staff primarily based their hiring determination upon Vince’s in depth expertise of main a number of distinguished Los Angeles space municipalities in city planning,” he mentioned.

Guerrero’s posts additionally targeted on different authorities officers.

One message from Guerrero, which was reviewed by The Instances, was a response to a photograph of a onetime aide to Metropolis Councilman Mike Bonin. Within the picture, taken from his personal Fb web page and reposted on Strong Gold, the aide is shirtless in entrance of a mirror.

“Is he preggers?” Guerrero wrote.

The previous Bonin aide declined to remark.

Guerrero additionally posted a response to a photograph of Metropolis Controller Ron Galperin, County Assessor Jeffrey Prang and several other others watching the Tremendous Bowl on TV in 2016. The group additionally included Eric Bauman, former Chair of the California Democratic Get together, and former Meeting Speaker John Perez.

Beneath the picture, Guerrero posted an emoji of a beast throwing up. Galperin declined to weigh in on the emoji.

Prang mentioned that in his experiences with Guerrero, he discovered her to be “brilliant {and professional}.” However he additionally argued that there’s a lesson to be discovered from the Fb posts.

“The one factor all of us within the political world need to study is that what you do in non-public could be as necessary as what you do in public,” he mentioned.

Guerrero, a former group organizer and daughter of migrant farmworkers, has spent 20 years with Garcetti, working for him when he was on the Metropolis Council and changing into his chief of employees after he was elected mayor in 2013.

The Strong Gold Fb group has come up repeatedly in depositions within the case filed by Matthew Garza, the LAPD officer suing the town alleging one other Garcetti aide sexually harassed him. Jacobs had denied the allegations.

Throughout her deposition testimony, Guerrero testified that she didn’t bear in mind if Jacobs was mentioned amongst Strong Gold members.

Nonetheless, in a separate deposition, former Garcetti aide Henry Casas mentioned Guerrero did make reference to Jacobs in a Fb group, based on a transcript reviewed by The Instances.

Garza, a former member of Garcetti’s safety element, filed a lawsuit final summer time alleging that he was sexually harassed by Jacobs over a interval spanning a number of years. Jacobs, in a deposition, has denied harassing anybody however conceded he might have hugged Garza and instructed sexual jokes in entrance the safety element.

Three different former metropolis workers instructed The Instances that Jacobs’ bullying and sexually aggressive actions have been extensively identified contained in the mayor’s workplace, and that discussions concerning the advisor’s misbehavior have been frequent within the workplace’s high echelons.

Because the allegations towards Jacobs first arose in the course of the summer time, Garcetti has repeatedly mentioned he by no means witnessed the sexual harassment alleged by Garza.





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