L.A. Times seeks to make depositions public in sexual harassment case involving former Garcetti aide

The Los Angeles Times has requested a choose to make public testimony in a lawsuit by which an LAPD officer alleges he was sexually harassed by Mayor Eric Garcetti’s former advisor.

In a movement filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Times’ lawyer Dan Laidman argued there may be “overriding public interest” within the litigation involving LAPD Officer Matthew Garza, who labored on Garcetti’s safety element.

The Times’ movement asks Judge Curtis A. Kin to change an order authorised by a earlier choose in January that granted attorneys for each Garza and the town broad authority to make information within the case confidential. The Times has requested a extra narrowly drawn order below which solely delicate, private info can be redacted on paperwork.

“Despite the obvious public interest in this litigation — brought against the city by a police officer on the mayor’s security detail, where all of the alleged conduct occurred at City Hall and other official settings — the parties have stipulated to a blanket Protective Order that allows them virtually unfettered discretion to designate any document or deposition confidential, with no showing of good cause,” the movement states.

City Atty. Mike Feuer’s spokesman Rob Wilcox mentioned metropolis attorneys are reviewing the movement. He declined to remark additional.

Greg Smith, lawyer for Garza, mentioned in an electronic mail that his shopper helps the movement.

LAPD officer Garza sued the city last summer, alleging that Jacobs made crude sexual feedback and touched him over a interval of a number of years. Garza’s lawsuit states that Garcetti witnessed the inappropriate conduct and that on some events, the mayor laughed at Jacobs’ crude feedback.

Jacobs has known as Garza’s lawsuit “pure fiction.” Garcetti testified in his deposition taken earlier this yr that he didn’t witness any inappropriate conduct by Jacobs.

Some of the deposition testimony within the case, corresponding to that of Garcetti and his chief of employees, Ana Guerrero, wasn’t marked confidential, in accordance with The Times’ movement. But the events seem to have saved a minimum of 4 different depositions below wraps since March, the movement states.

The Times’ movement argues the blanket Protective Order “does not include any showing of good cause for confidentiality” and that with out the order, the depositions within the case can be public information which might be topic to disclosure below the California Public Records Act.

The movement additionally argues that “the parties do not have countervailing interests that could overcome the extremely strong public interest in disclosure here.”

“The Times brought this motion because cases like this demand maximum transparency,” Laidman mentioned in a press release to The Times. “There’s a strong public interest in learning the basis for these allegations of high-level misconduct, and in scrutinizing how the courts handle cases involving powerful public agencies and officials.”

The Times has coated among the deposition testimony, together with that of the mayor, Garza, and a former aide to Garcetti who mentioned that he was subjected to unwanted touching by Jacobs.

Other Garcetti aides testified that they didn’t see Jacobs act in an inappropriate method.

The Times on Wednesday reported that the previous president of the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, a nonprofit group, testified in his deposition that he heard Garcetti say phrases to the impact of “I can’t believe Rick worked out at City Hall and that we got through it without a lawsuit.”

Garcetti, in his February deposition, was requested if he had made such a press release and denied that he had. The mayor on Wednesday mentioned he stands by his testimony.

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