L.A. Demands Testimony on Day Before Francine Godoy to Give Birth
Another lawsuit has been filed in the sordid tale of L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar and his onetime deputy chief of staff Francine Godoy, with whom Huizar says he had an affair.
Godoy's first filing, a sexual harassment suit, alleged that Huizar tried to base her career advancement on sexual favors. This one says the city is trying to get Godoy to testify to a Special Committee on Investigative Oversight -- on the day before her baby's due date:
The new suit against the city, filed yesterday in Superior Court, says LAPD officers went to the office of Godoy's attorney Oct. 23 and presented a subpoena commanding her to testify tomorrow.
Her lawyer, Michael Eisenberg, says in a statement that she's scheduled to give birth Thursday. (No, the baby isn't Huizar's).
The suit seeks a restraining order, a temporary injunction, and a permanent injunction "prohibiting Defendants from enforcing their subpoena of Plaintiff in the Committee investigation."
Eisenberg argues that the city is simply trying to do an end run around the original lawsuit by picking Godoy's brain prematurely, using its power to subpoena to get her story on the record so it can prepare and pick it apart:
We contend that Wesson and Huizar's other allies on the City Council are using the subpoena power of the City as a cynical ploy to further harm, harass, humiliate and intimidate Ms. Godoy by forcing her to appear before a one-sided, biased investigator the day before she gives birth.
Godoy via Huizar's Flickr page
The lawyer paints the Special Committee on Investigative Oversight as a farce. He notes that the guy who ordered the "independent" investigation of the affair, council President Herb Wesson, had recently said this:
Mr. Huizar is like my brother, he is my best friend on the Council. I trust him with my life, he does the same for me.
Her original suit seeks unspecified damages. It alleges, among other things, that Huizar suggested he wouldn't endorse Godoy for a school board seat if she didn't have sex with him.
[Update at 11:05 p.m.]: Noting the plaintiff's argument that Huizar had not been subpoenaed to testify before the committee, the councilman's people sent out this statement:
This is clearly an attempt by Ms. Godoy to obstruct the city's established process by the City's code for an impartial and methodical investigation of her absurd and malicious allegations. The special committee triggered by Council President Wesson under code and assembled by the personnel department is comprised of some of Southern California's most ethical and seasoned legal professionals, dedicated to impartiality and examining all of the facts surrounding this issue.
For the record, the reason the Councilmember has not been subpoenaed is, unlike Ms. Godoy, Councilmember Huizar has volunteered to cooperate and appear before the committee and he looks forward to dispelling Ms. Godoy's false and malicious accusations.
This would be a prime opportunity for Ms. Godoy to tell her side of the story but given her attorney's response, we can only conclude that Ms. Godoy is desperately seeking to avoid pointed questions about her outrageous allegations and is hoping to enrich herself with an out of court settlement.
The question the public now has to ask is what does Ms. Godoy have to hide and why is she avoiding an appearance before this distinguished and impartial committee? Perhaps she is concerned that the truth will come out and that her accusations will be found to be baseless and absurd. Ms. Godoy's lawsuit is frivolous and a waste of the city's time and resources.
Wesson's office sent us this statement:
In accordance with the city administrative code, I authorized the formation of the special committee. City code Section 4.411 requires that all of the proceedings are kept strictly confidential. Therefore, I do not control the committee and have no role in the investigation. I have no knowledge of who is on the committee, and I have no knowledge of what they have done, or may do. To suggest that I have any role in the investigation is entirely inaccurate.