Driving the campaign in the Senate to thwart Garcetti’s assignment in India has been Seligman, who has persistently charged that the mayor lied and should not be confirmed. She escalated her effort in February, getting the nonprofit law firm Whistleblower Aid to file a complaint with local, state and federal prosecutors demanding that Garcetti be prosecuted for perjury.
Seligman said in her deposition in the Garza case that she saw Jacobs hugging and kissing people in ways that were clearly unwanted, while the mayor was at close hand. Asked whether Garcetti might have missed seeing those moments, Seligman testified: “If he chose not to.”
She also testified that Jacobs grabbed and kissed her forcibly in her office in 2016, an incident she said was witnessed by “eight or nine” members of her communications team. Her friend, Rebecca Ninburg, testified that Seligman had called her shortly after the alleged incident to complain about Jacobs’ behavior.
Many of the staffers who worked under Seligman and Jacobs at the time told The Times they did not recall that incident. Only Becca MacLaren, Garcetti’s speechwriter, has gone on the record with her account. The other workers, including several who have left the mayor’s office, asked to remain anonymous; saying they didn’t want to be caught up in the anger and recrimination swirling around the case.
Seligman has accused those casting doubt on the kissing incident as being part of a culture of silence in the mayor’s office.
She testified that she went to then-Chief of Staff Ana Guerrero to report the forced kiss, but that Guerrero merely “shook her head, rolled her eyes [and] got her sort of blank angry stare.” She said Guerrero took no action because Jacobs was seen as an “untouchable,” valued for his fundraising prowess and close ties to Garcetti and his wife.
In her testimony in the Garza case, Guerrero denied that she ever received a sexual harassment complaint about Jacobs, from Seligman or anyone else. She depicted the mayor’s office as sensitive to such concerns and said immediate action would have been taken to resolve any problem.
The chief of staff and others acknowledged seeing Jacobs kiss others on the lips in social situations, but they said it did not seem unwanted or inappropriate.
Much of the other evidence surrounding the Jacobs furor does not go directly to Garcetti’s knowledge but suggests that many people in the mayor’s office talked about the top aide’s behavior: