Mayor Eric Garcetti’s former senior adviser testified in a deposition that the mayor’s father, former District Attorney Gil Garcetti, alerted him in 2020 that he could be sued for sexual harassment by a Los Angeles police officer assigned to protect the mayor, according to a deposition obtained Friday.
Rick Jacobs gave the testimony during questioning by lawyers for Los Angeles police Officer Matthew Garza, who alleges in a Los Angeles Superior Court lawsuit that he was subjected to repeated acts of inappropriate conduct by Jacobs.
“I recall him (Gil Garcetti) saying that he had heard that Matt Garza was contemplating filing a lawsuit,” Jacobs said. “I believe he said it was a lawsuit about alleged sexual harassment. And I don’t remember a lot else.”
Asked how he responded to Gil Garcetti, Jacobs said he was caught off guard.
“I was surprised about anybody on the security detail contemplating filing a lawsuit,” Jacobs said. “In fact, I was surprised that anybody was filing a lawsuit.”
Jacobs was even more emphatic when asked why he was surprised.
“Because I had never done anything that constituted sexual harassment and nobody had ever raised any question,” he said.
Jacobs said he knew Gil Garcetti through his working relationship with the mayor.
“Gil is the father of Eric Garcetti and as such, cared deeply about his son,” Jacobs said. “I got to know Gil through that.”
Garza filed the lawsuit against the city last July 13, alleging sex and gender harassment. According to Garza, from October 2013 until October of 2019, he was assigned to the LAPD’s police protection unit for the mayor. He says he was required to drive Garcetti to and from mayoral engagements and accompany him on out-of-town trips and that Jacobs often accompanied them.
Garza alleges Jacobs subjected him on “hundreds of occasions to unwanted and unwelcome sexual comments and touching,” including tight hugs and shoulder rubbing.
Asked during his deposition if he ever hugged Garza, Jacobs replied, It’s possible. And whether he believed it was consensual — “I had the impression, yes.”
Asked if the hugs ever lasted longer than 15 seconds, he replied, Oh, I doubt that.
Questioned whether he found Garza handsome, Jacobs said, “I mean, not particularly.”
Jacobs acknowledged that some of his handshakes with Garza could have resulted in his pulling the officer into an embrace as “sort of a bro hug.”
Jacobs denied making comments in Garza’s presence concerning the size of male private parts or that he ever motioned the officer to sit on his lap.