Photo: Los Angeles District 14 Councilman José Huizar
By Audrey Hellenbrecht
Jesse Leon, a former aide to Los Angeles District 14 Councilman José Huizar, has filed a $10 million claim against the city of Los Angeles. The claim was filed after Huizar terminated Leon in retaliation for speaking with federal agents about an ongoing investigation into bribes Huizar has been receiving from Chinese imperialists.
Leon was placed on administrative leave shortly after speaking with federal agents and was then terminated on October 31. In his claim against the city, Leon states that his termination was in direct violation of whistleblower protection laws.
Leon’s claim follows two other lawsuits filed against Huizar in 2018 for retaliation. The former staffers, Mayra Alvarez and Pauline Medina, claimed they faced retaliation from Huizar after reporting misconduct, including using city staffers to campaign for his wife Richelle Huizar and his affair with another aide. Medina also added in her report that Huizar instructed his aides to perform inappropriate tasks and Alvarez stated in her report that he was committing “potential legal and ethical violations.”
Huizar was also sued in 2013 for sexual harassment, discrimination, and retaliation by Francine Godoy after he demanded sexual favors in exchange for helping to advance her career. His history of retaliatory measures include suspension, demotion, and termination against his subordinates.
In spite of his history, Huizar is denying Leon’s allegations and is instead claiming that he fired Leon due to an unethical “financial conflict of interest.” Huizar, along with City Attorneys, stated that Leon had attempted to file for a cannabis license while serving as a policy adviser for Huizar on cannabis regulations.
Huizar argued that Leon submitted his claim against the city of Los Angeles after he had been confronted about the conflict of interest. “This is an obvious attempt by Jesse to deflect from his unethical behavior,” Huizar said. Department records show that Leon in fact did not file an application to run a cannabis business.
Huizar’s corruption is not an isolated case. Multiple members of Los Angeles City Council have been investigated for bribery. Corrupt officials are the rule rather than the exception under imperialism.