Prominent rabbi defends L.A. Mayor Garcetti as his ambassadorial nomination stalls – The Forward

Sharon Brous, one of many nation’s most distinguished rabbis and a vocal advocate for progressive causes, on Friday defended Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose ambassadorial nomination has been held up over allegations that he did not act when one in every of his high advisers was accused of sexual harassment.

Brous, who delivered the invocation for Garcetti’s inauguration in 2017, spoke up publicly for the primary time concerning the controversy when requested by the Forward a few report {that a} Senate Republican lately launched on the mayor. A number of folks interviewed for the report stated Garcetti knew or ought to have identified about his aide’s habits. 

Garcetti has stated he had no data of it.

Brous wouldn’t say whether or not she had learn the report, however stated in a press release that Garcetti is “a person of integrity and moral seriousness.” She expressed “full confidence not only in Mayor Garcetti’s moral character but also his ability to serve our country well in India.”

In July President Joe Biden nominated Garcetti, a member of Ikar, Brous’ synagogue, to function ambassador to India.

Brous, who’s shut with Garcetti,  has invited him to steer prayers at Ikar. She additionally blessed President Biden throughout his inaugural prayer breakfast.

The controversy has swirled round Garcetti for almost two years and includes his former deputy chief of workers, Rick Jacobs.

A former member of Garcetti’s safety element filed a lawsuit in July 2020 that claimed Jacobs made crude sexual feedback and inappropriate bodily contact quite a few instances, and that Garcetti was conscious of the habits and didn’t cease it.

Within the months following that go well with, first reported by the Los Angeles Occasions, Garcetti’s former spokeswoman, Naomi Seligman, got here ahead with a raft of different allegations towards Jacobs, and likewise reported that Garcetti knew about Jacobs’ ongoing misconduct. Journalist Yashar Ali described a number of extra nameless allegations towards Jacobs from Metropolis Corridor staffers in a first-person article revealed to Substack.

On the Los Angeles Metropolis Lawyer’s workplace request, an outdoor regulation agency carried out an investigation into Jacobs, who left Garcetti’s workers in October 2020, and report its outcomes to Metropolis Corridor. In 2021, that agency, Ellis and Makus, cleared Jacobs of wrongdoing.

However the allegations are nonetheless dogging Garcetti, although his nomination was accepted in January by the Senate Overseas Relations Committee. It isn’t clear whether or not he has sufficient votes to be confirmed by the complete Senate. 

Sharon Brous delivers the invocation at Mayor Eric Garcetti’s inauguration in 2017. Within the speech, Brous stated Garcetti “wears the clothes of a politician but has the heart of a prophet.” (Screenshot through YouTube) Picture by

The White Home dismissed the Republican report’s findings, with a spokesperson calling it a “partisan hit job.”

Brous additionally referred to as into query the motivations for the Republicans’ report, which was spearheaded by Sen. Chuck Grassley, co-chair of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus.

“The Mayor cooperated in multiple investigations, all of which cleared him of any wrongdoing,” Brous stated in her assertion, seemingly referring to separate variations of the Ellis report. “That the Grassley report comes to such a different conclusion indicates that it is driven more by political interest than a genuine commitment to uncovering the truth, which is not surprising in our current political climate, but still, deeply disappointing.”

Brous, who addressed the Ladies’s March in 2017, has been outspoken about the necessity to maintain enablers of sexual abuse accountable. In her 2018 Yom Kippur sermon, she described how the “epidemic of sexual assault and harassment thrives on many layers of cowardice and indifference, all too abundant in our culture of complicity.”

On Friday, she was firmly within the mayor’s nook. 

“I was concerned when I heard allegations of sexual harassment against one of the Mayor’s top former staffers; all allegations of sexual harassment must be taken seriously and examined carefully,” she stated in her assertion.

“The Mayor himself was also concerned — for years he has been a leader not only in the fight for gender equity and justice, but also in building systems to protect against workplace misconduct.”

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