ERIC PREVEN’S NOTEBOOK - Eric Garcetti was one of four very nice co-chairs of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, including Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan. Go Blue.
The campaign heaved down receipts of well over one billion dollars. One number I saw, claimed $1,064,613,463.22 on November 23, 2020. Hats off on an impressive haul.
In fact, Garcetti should continue his work as a fundraiser but the argument that Garcetti was oblivious about what was going on under his nose in his office is simply not credible. And now, given the recent news that the mayor has been grappling with his own trauma, he should leave the India job to someone better positioned.
India is itself grappling with a horrible sexual violence problem and for Garcetti to invalidate the dozens of ordinary, even extraordinary Angelenos, who were subjected to an indisputably insidious workplace environment, is unthinkable.
In 2017, as a cubby reporter, I sat outside the mayor's office containing two dozen, smart well-dressed Angelenos buzzing around googling Garcetti's name all day long. Despite, the high number of helpful young influencers, I was unable to get a single straight answer. It was mesmerizing.
I would frequently pop over to his offices following the city council meetings to get an update on the mayor's dereliction. I spent a fair amount of time with the friendly African American police officer stationed at the front desk. The mayor himself was rarely around. Where was he, I wondered.
Eventually, I grew curious enough to do a CPRA record request for the mayor's calendar and learned that he was mostly out of town raising money, first for his own presidential dream, and then, he was named one of four co-chairs of Joe Biden's successful run for president.
The LA City Charter requires that when the Mayor of Los Angeles departs the state of California, he or she stops being Mayor with the role passing to the City Council President.
In CityWatch my brother and I noted that by late 2017, he'd been out of town for almost a year, paving the way for Mayor Herb Wesson, which made me feel physically ill.
Eric Garcetti, said in a deposition by attorneys for Los Angeles Police Officer Matthew Garza, a former member of Garcetti’s security detail who filed the lawsuit claiming he was harassed by Jacobs, that the Times says they saw a transcript of, that the behavior alleged of Rick Jacob would have stood out like “… a grasshopper on a blank piece of paper.”
That's how I felt in the face of the astonishing lie, wherein Garcetti seems to marginalize all of the allegations against Jacobs by simply saying such behavior would have been “completely out of character” for Jacobs.
The phrase “completely out of character” seems to impeach Garcetti’s credibility instantly and completely.
Then, last month it came out in a Los Angeles Magazine interview that Garcetti himself had been a victim in high school, but not at Harvard-Westlake, he was quick point out later. The news of his trauma had never come up before, so...frankly, it stands out like a grasshopper on a blank piece of paper.
Canny and relentless:
As an advocate for himself and his personal trajectory, there is no one in Garcetti's league. He's able to morph and bend with the city's mood, rising up in moments of pride and receding when the seemier side might cast a shadow on his leaking legacy.
The truth is, Garcetti will do anyyyyything, including having his parents lobby the US congress to invalidate the truths of dozens of Angelenos who know that he knew or should have known and did absolutely nothing.
As I wrote months ago, Garcetti was a naval intelligence officer and a Rhodes scholar. He knew.
Will the city staff members and members of the city hall community who knew he knew or should have known agree it was actually just a right-wing conspiracy?
No. Beyond insulting.
Enabling Power: “completely out of character”
If you're not with us, you're against us.
The argument that Garcetti was oblivious is simply not credible. How is Eric Garcetti's denial different than other enablers?
We live in an era where Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein are being held accountable. Some enablers are going to jail.
Zelda Perkins, a former Weinstein assistant based in Britain said, "I stood up in 1998, I stood up in 2017. I'm still standing up now. My life currently is defined by the campaign, which is trying to tear up this horrific legal tool of NDA. That is what enables the powerful. Harvey is just a man, a weak man and he is a man who was allowed to behave like that by society because we are sycophants to fame and power."
The mayor should go to law school so he can better advocate for the neediest Angelenos who blew the whistle on retaliation and harassment and were ignored. Not leave town, casting aspersions on the young workers who witnessed Jacobs' reign of terror.
(Eric Preven is a longtime community activist and is a contributor to CityWatch. The opinions expressed by Eric Preven are solely his and not the opinions of CityWatch)