Former Garcetti staffer says aide’s unwanted kissing, touching was ‘an open secret’

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Los Angeles City Hall is seen in a file photo. (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

Los Angeles City Hall is seen in a file photo. (Richard Vogel / Associated Press)

A former high-level aide to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti testified last month that former Garcetti advisor Rick Jacobs kissed both her and her husband on the mouth without their consent, and that a male Garcetti staffer separately complained that Jacobs made a pass at him.

Former Garcetti communications director Naomi Seligman said in deposition testimony that Jacobs grabbed her and kissed her on the lips in 2016 in front of several staffers, an incident she called humiliating. Seligman, who worked in the mayor’s office from 2015 to 2017, also testified that she complained about the incident to Garcetti chief of staff Ana Guerrero but that nothing was done.

The deposition, a copy of which The Times reviewed Thursday, contained several explosive allegations about Jacobs and those who worked with him.

Seligman testified that Garcetti staffers made comments to her over the past year that she took to mean that she should remain silent about Jacobs’ behavior. She described a Mafia-like culture that rewarded silence. She said Jacobs’ behavior was widely known among Garcetti’s aides.

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