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Huizar's accuser seeks injunction to postpone testimony (Updated)

L.A. City Councilman José Huizar has denied the allegations made in a sexual harassment suit filed by his former deputy chief of staff.
L.A. City Councilman José Huizar has denied the allegations made in a sexual harassment suit filed by his former deputy chief of staff.
Mae Ryan/KPCC

The woman who has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against L.A. City Councilman José Huizar is seeking an injunction to prevent her from being interviewed by the city panel that is investigating her charges.

The accuser, former Huizar deputy chief of staff Francine Godoy, is pregnant and — according to the a new lawsuit filed Tuesday — is scheduled to undergo birth by Cesarean "on or about" Oct. 31.  The lawsuit claims city attorneys subpoenaed Godoy to appear on Oct. 30.

Godoy's attorney, Michael Eisenberg, says the city insisted that Godoy appear, despite her impending delivery. 

The City of Los Angeles is also named in the lawsuit. The city's investigation, which is independent of the lawsuit filed by Godoy, is being led by the City Attorney's office and a citizens' committee appointed by the Personnel Department. Formation of the committee was authorized by City Council President Herb Wesson.

Eisenberg accused Wesson of compromising the integrity of the investigation because he recently appeared at a fundraiser for his council colleague where he said 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." 

Wesson issued a statement Tuesday saying city law "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." 

Late Tuesday afternoon, a spokesman for the City Attorney's office would not comment, saying to the best of his knowledge, the city had not been served with the complaint.

In her lawsuit filed in mid-October, Godoy — who worked for Huizar from 2006 until earlier this year — said she was punished when she refused to have sex with him. According to the lawsuit, Godoy faced "numerous" instances of sexual harassment and retaliation.

“As a result of Huizar’s sexual harassment and retaliation, ignoring, removing duties and assignments, and being banned from entry into the office, (Godoy) was forced to quit her position of deputy chef of staff,” according to the lawsuit.

Huizar admitted to having had an affair with Godoy while she worked for him, but he denied the harassment charges. In a statement from Huizar’s attorney after the suit was filed, a spokesman said: “When the true facts come out it will reveal that Ms. Godoy is someone seeking to damage the council member’s reputation becaue he would not help her advance her career as she expected.”

Godoy also alleged that after she resisted his advances, Huizar rescinded his support for her candidacy for a seat on the Los Angeles Community College Board of Trustees.

KPCC politics reporter Alice Walton contributed to this story.