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This week, the former chief of staff to Mayor Eric Garcetti, Ana Guerrero, is returning to the Los Angeles City Hall after being put on leave in June for inappropriate comments and posts online. She will be returning as Mayor Garcetti’s aide with no salary change.
The disparaging posts were from an invite only Facebook group, Solid Gold, in 2016 and 2017. According to KTLA, many of Mayor Garcetti’s staff members had access to this page. Guerrero claims to have “apologized to the people [she] offended and [has] spent time reflecting on the lessons learned.
KFI AM 640 goes into further details, describing the posts that targeted civil rights activists and city employees as both disparaging and suggestive. The group mainly consisted of Garcetti’s staff, appointees, and supporters, though the Mayor has determined that “it’s time she be given the chance to come back because she’s ready and we have a lot more work to do.”
Many of Guerrero’s posts were against labor and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta, who explains that she has “let bygones be bygones and [she won’t] hold grudges.” However, other posts seem to also involve other people associated with Garcetti, including former appointee Cecilia Cabello and former head of the Los Angeles Office of Immigrant Affairs Linda Lopez.
Other than these harassment posts, there were also many suggestive comments coming from Mayor Garcetti’s aide. These included uses of double entendre regarding Director of Planning Vince Bertoni, and at least one of these posts may involve Kelli Bernard. Another post of note involved one of Councilman Mike Bonin’s aides.
These latter mentioned posts are more closely describably as workplace sexual harassment, rather than other workplace harassment comments used to describe Huerta. However, this is interesting, given that an alleged sexual harassment claim first lead to the investigation of Los Angeles City Hall’s workplace culture, according to LAist. This claim has not been connected to Guerrero, however.
It should be noted that this return is not a surprise to Mayor Garcetti, as he claimed in June that he is “a big believer in second chances and in teachable moments of both growth and reconciliation,” as reported by AP News. This is somewhat in contrast with Huerta’s original statements, “I think it just reflects badly on [these commenters] when they have positions like chief of staff of the mayor,” pointed directly at Guerrero. She continued, “It would seem they would have better ethics.”