An legal professional for the police officer who alleged he was sexually harassed by a former aide to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti known as Thursday on the town’s attorneys to protect messages from a non-public Fb group involving the mayor’s workers.

After The Occasions reported that Garcetti chief of workers Ana Guerrero posted sexual innuendo and disparaging messages about metropolis staff in a non-public Fb group, legal professional Gregory W. Smith despatched a letter asking for individuals within the mayor’s circle to retain messages, pictures, emojis and “likes” from that group.

Smith is representing Matthew Garza, who filed a lawsuit final 12 months alleging he was sexually harassed by Rick Jacobs, one other Garcetti aide, over a interval of years. In his letter, Smith mentioned he needs to make sure the contents of the Fb group, known as Strong Gold, will not be destroyed.

Smith mentioned he needs to know particularly what was mentioned within the group about Jacobs’ conduct and what Garcetti knew about it.

Ana Guerrero, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti’s chief of workers.

(Betsy Annas )

Spokesmen for Garcetti and for Metropolis Atty. Mike Feuer declined remark. Jacobs, in a deposition, beforehand denied harassing anybody however conceded he might have hugged Garza and advised sexual jokes in entrance of the safety element.

The Occasions reported Thursday that Guerrero made a sexually suggestive remark within the Strong Gold Fb group a couple of shirtless picture of Vince Bertoni, the town’s Director of Planning. In a submit that referenced Bertoni’s hiring, Guerrero mentioned she and one other staffer had searched “LONG and HARD for somebody that could be straightforward on the attention.”

Guerrero wrote a submit that appeared to mock a council staffer’s weight, in response to messages reviewed by The Occasions. She posted a vomit emoji, and a picture of a creature throwing up, in response to a photograph of Metropolis Controller Ron Galperin and different public officers at a Tremendous Bowl social gathering.

Requested about these posts, Guerrero expressed regret, saying the messages have been jokes supposed for a small group of mates. “I deeply remorse partaking in any such humor, even with shut mates,” she mentioned in an announcement.

A number of Garcetti staffers and appointees took half within the invitation-only messaging group. However Strong Gold was not the one discussion board on Fb for Garcetti staffers.

Henry Casas, who labored for Garcetti from 2013-18, was requested throughout a deposition within the Garza case about any non-public Fb teams involving Garcetti aides. He testified that one, often known as Chase Buckingham, had about 30 members — each junior and senior staffers.

Strong Gold was extra unique, he mentioned, that includes Guerrero and a couple of dozen individuals, together with Heather Repenning — now a Garcetti appointee on the Metropolitan Water District — and Cecilia Cabello, a onetime Garcetti aide. Cabello obtained a $24,000 contract with the mayor’s workplace final 12 months to coordinate the response to COVID-19 by philanthropies and companies.

“Strong Gold was the extra like tighter group,” Casas testified.

Cabello declined remark when reached by telephone. Repenning didn’t reply to a number of messages.

The Strong Gold group typically traded in suggestive messages, The Occasions discovered after reviewing chosen posts.

When one of many group’s members uploaded the shirtless picture of Bertoni, Repenning initially responded with the message “Hmmm.”

Joseph Arroyo, who belonged to the Fb group however didn’t work for the mayor, adopted with a single-word submit that mentioned “Wooden.” He then replied: “I meant WOOF however each work.”

Guerrero then weighed in herself, posting the message about Bertoni being “straightforward on the attention.”

Arroyo didn’t reply to calls from The Occasions in search of remark.

Guerrero, throughout her deposition within the Garza case, mentioned she didn’t keep in mind if Jacobs was mentioned in both Strong Gold or the Chase Buckingham Fb group.

Casas, nevertheless, testified that Jacobs was talked about in a minimum of certainly one of them.

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