Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a nominee for U.S. ambassador to India, "likely knew or should have known" about sexual harassment and racist comments from former adviser Rick Jacobs, a Senate investigation has found.

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) released a report from his staff Tuesday that concluded it was “extremely unlikely” Garcetti, a Democrat, was unaware of the alleged misconduct as he claims, adding hindrances to Garcetti's bid to take the ambassador role to which he was first nominated last July.


"By all accounts, Mr. Jacobs’ behavior was widely known and talked about. It was pervasive, widespread, and notorious — to the point that Mr. Jacobs sexually harassed someone in front of the Mayor for a picture that would be memorialized for all time," the report says. "We conclude that Mayor Garcetti likely knew or should have known that Rick Jacobs was sexually harassing multiple individuals and making racist comments towards others."

Investigators interviewed 15 witnesses and reviewed city reports, email records, and 26 depositions that stemmed from a civil lawsuit against Jacobs. However, the team was unable to interview Jacobs, Garcetti, and 11 others who worked close to him for the inquiry.

"This is not a criminal or civil investigation, but an investigation meant to assist in the Senate’s constitutionally mandated advice and consent process, we had to reach conclusions based on the evidence that we had before us. If at a later time, these individuals wish to come forward and provide new evidence or testimony we would be willing to revisit our conclusion if the evidence supports it," the report adds.

In March, Grassley announced he was putting a hold on Garcetti's nomination vote in the Senate, slowing down his nomination from moving forward. With the report released Tuesday, Grassley said he is lifting his hold and intends to vote "no" on Garcetti's nomination.

“While I strongly disagree with the opinion reached in this report, I am pleased that Sen. Grassley has lifted his hold and hope that my nomination by the president can be considered by the Senate soon,” Garcetti said in a statement to the Washington Examiner.

Dae Levine, chief communications officer for the mayor, argued that "no new facts were uncovered in this report" and that Garcetti "strongly reaffirms the simple truth that he never witnessed or was made aware of sexual harassment."

"The opinion reached in the report does not reflect the truth about the experiences of so many people who have testified under oath and spoken candidly to the Senator’s office. It is based solely on false, repackaged allegations that have been proven false by multiple unbiased investigations and reviews,” Levine told the Washington Examiner.

The White House similarly dismissed the finding as a partisan "hit job" Tuesday and stood by the nomination of Garcetti, which remains stalled in the Senate.

“This partisan report was a hit job from the beginning, and many of the claims have already been conclusively debunked by more serious independent reports,” the White House said, per Axios. “The president has confidence in Mayor Garcetti and believes he will be an excellent representative in India at a critical moment and calls for the Senate to swiftly confirm him.”

The accusations against Jacobs became public in 2020 after a police officer who served as Garcetti’s bodyguard claimed in a lawsuit against the city that Jacobs sexually harassed him, the Los Angeles Times reported. The officer alleged Garcetti was aware of the behavior but did not take action. Jacobs stepped down from his position in 2020 after reports of his alleged misconduct became public.


Jacobs denied the accusations but conceded in a deposition that he may have hugged the officer and made sexual jokes around him, the LA Times reported. In a court deposition, Jacobs admitted to calling an Asian staffer a “china-man,” according to the staff report. Garcetti denied knowing about the alleged misconduct during an appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which approved his nomination in January.

"Based on information obtained by Committee investigators, it is more probable than not that Mr. Jacobs sexually harassed multiple individuals, and made racist comments towards others. Based on witness testimony, this behavior was pervasive, widespread, and notorious," the report says. "Several individuals told investigators that Mayor Garcetti was aware of this behavior."

Garcetti's term as mayor ends in December.