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Councilman Jose Huizar removed from influential posts in wake of FBI raid

L.A. City Council proceedings

The L.A. Times and KNX report that 14th District Councilman Jose Huizar has been kicked off several City Council Committees a week after FBI agents conducted a search of his offices and home.

Council President Herb Wesson, in a letter to the City Clerk,  revealed that he had removed Huizar from several committees, which review proposed laws, projects and issues before they are passed on to the full council.   As part of the shakeup, Huizar lost chairmanship of the powerful  Planning and Land Use Management Committee.

Wesson did not explain the move. But in a statement said that residents  “will be best served by these changes,” according to news reports.

A statement issued by Huizar’s attorney said that “he respects Council President Wesson’s decision, and will use the time away from committee assignments to tend to personal matters,” according to KNX.

Huizar has been absent from City Council meetings since the last week’s FBI raids.

Huizar’s 14th district includes all or portions of Boyle Heights, Downtown, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Hermon, Highland Park and Monterey Hills.

The FBI has remained silent on the reason behind last week’s searches. An agency spokeswoman said the agency could not discuss the matter since the search warrant and its details have been sealed by a court.

The warrants were served after Huizar was  been hit by two separate lawsuits from former employees.

Last month, former council aide Mayra Alvarez claimed, among other things, that she was demoted and penalized for taking maternity and disability leave. Her lawsuit alleged that Huizar’s mistress received favorable treatment when it came to assignments.

The second lawsuit filed last week by former manager Pauline Medina alleged that staffers were asked to perform many personal tasks for Huizar, including picking up his children from school and moving his wife’s car to avoid getting a street-sweeping ticket.

Huizar has denied all the allegations, saying the lawsuits were politically motivated and filed by disgruntled employees.

He respects Council President Wesson’s decision, and will use the time away from committee assignments to tend to personal matters.”

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