A Glendale city councilman has agreed to pay $2,000 and write a letter of apology to settle a claim that he groped a woman's breast last year.
Councilman Dave Weaver was accused of groping the woman's breast while having drinks at a Mexican restaurant after a council meeting. Weaver, though, contends that whatever contact occurred between him and the woman, Lolita Gonzalves, was accidental, something he reiterated in his three-sentence apology.
“Please accept my apology for the incident of April 9, 2013. In my view what occurred was an accident and unintentional," he wrote. "In any event, I certainly meant no harm and am sorry if it caused you any discomfort.”
In previous interviews, Weaver has said that he may have unintentionally pushed Gonzalves during an argument.
In addition to the apology, Gonzalves had sought $10,000, but told the Glendale News-Press she ultimately agreed to the settlement on the recommendation of her attorney.
Gonzalves said that she feels the longtime councilman "got away so easily."
“I want him to be penalized in some other way, but it didn’t happen that way, so I leave it to God," she said.
Weaver and Gonzalves had been friends for years, often meeting over drinks and dinner to discuss personal and business matters, according to her complaint filed with the city attorney’s office.
On the day of the incident, about one week before Weaver was to begin his one-year term as mayor, the two were drinking margaritas in a booth at Joselito’s Mexican Food in Montrose, the complaint said.
The two then started bickering about Gonzalves putting her jacket on her lap. Weaver told her she didn't have to cover her stomach and then grabbed her right breast, according to the complaint.
Weaver said he doesn’t remember the jacket incident and denied the groping. Rather, he said he was angry and pushed her, not realizing where his hands landed.
Weaver's attorney, Linda Savitt, said Monday that bringing an end to the clash was a “healthy” choice.
“Closure on all of these things is good,” she said.
Weaver was publicly reprimanded last month by his council colleagues, who recommended he attend sexual-harassment training.
During the reprimand, they also noted Weaver's acknowledgment that he used vulgar language in front of a city employee, a violation of Glendale’s sexual-harassment policy.
Brittany Levine is a Times Community News staff writer.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times