Richelle Huizar, wife of 14th District Councilman Jose Huizar, today dropped out of the race to replace her husband on the city council. The announcement comes only two weeks after FBI agents raided his council offices and the couple’s home.
“Today, I am announcing my withdrawal as a candidate for City Council in order to focus on my family,” Richelle Huizar said in a statement. “I am eternally grateful for the support that I have received since announcing our campaign in September. I look forward to continuing to work on issues I’m passionate about and staying involved in improving our communities.”
Richelle Huizar, an attorney, officially launched her candidacy only two months ago to succeed her husband, who will be termed out of office in 2020.
But since her announcement, Jose Huizar has been sued by two former employees, who claim, among other things, that they faced retaliation for complaining about an alleged affair between the councilman and an employee. Huizar has denied all the claims.
Then, two weeks ago, FBI agents conducted a search of the Huizar’s offices and homes, hauling away files and other items.
Huizar, who has attended only one City Council meeting since the FBI searches, has said little in response. Last week, he was removed from several influential City Council committee posts.
The Huizars’ marriage was put under pressure five years ago when the councilman publicly admitted that he had a “consensual relationship” with a former aide who claimed he had sexually harassed her. The lawsuit over those was eventually settled.
The couple live in Boyle Heights with their four children.
Council District 14 includes all or portions of Boyle Heights, Downtown, Eagle Rock, El Sereno, Hermon, Highland Park and Monterey Hills.
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