Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar on Thursday admitted having an affair with his former deputy chief of staff, but he denied harassing the woman, who is suing him for alleged sexual harassment.
Francine Godoy filed a lawsuit on Oct. 17 against Huizar in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging her former boss offered to support her in an election campaign in exchange for sex.
Robert Alaniz, a spokesman for Huizar attorney Dennis Walsh, said Huizar denies the claims of “illegal sexual behavior,” and said other allegations are “absolutely false and malicious.”
Alaniz also said Huizar and Godoy had a “consensual” relationship that Huizar now “deeply regrets.”
According to Godoy’s lawsuit, Huizar suggested in 2012 that Godoy run for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees.
On Oct. 8, 2012, Huizar called Godoy to his office and said that “if she wanted his continued support in her campaign for the (community college board), she would have to have sex with him,” according to the lawsuit.
After Godoy refused, Huizar grew angry and began yelling and cursing at her, the lawsuit claims.
Alaniz said the councilman and Godoy “had an occasional and consensual relationship, which the council member deeply regrets. He has apologized to his wife and family and he and his wife are currently working on repairing their marriage.”
Alaniz said that by filing the sexual harassment suit, Godoy is trying to “damage the council member’s reputation because he would not help advance her career as she expected.”
Earlier this month, Huizar said he was missing council meetings because his youngest daughter was undergoing treatment for leukemia.