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Senate panel confirms L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti ambassador nomination to India

Mayor Eric Garcetti
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti in December. A Senate committee on Wednesday approved his nomination to be U.S. ambassador to India.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nomination to serve as U.S. ambassador to India was confirmed Wednesday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The mayor’s approval was expected after his uneventful hearing last month before the congressional panel. His nomination now heads to the full Senate, where it requires a simple majority vote.

The mayor’s term is scheduled to end in December 2022. If Garcetti is confirmed by the Senate before his term ends, the City Council could appoint an interim mayor. If the office of mayor becomes vacant, the City Council president, in this case Nury Martinez, serves as acting mayor “pending appointment and qualification of a successor,” according to the City Charter.

Angelenos reacted to the news about the mayor being tapped by the Biden administration to be U.S. ambassador to India, following months of speculation.

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There had been speculation that members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would publicly press Garcetti on his handling of alleged sexual harassment by a longtime Garcetti aide, but it didn’t become a significant issue for the mayor.

An LAPD officer sued the city in 2020, alleging the mayor witnessed Garcetti advisor Rick Jacobs’ sexually harassing behavior and failed to intervene. In depositions in the case, former staffers said it was common knowledge in Garcetti’s office that the advisor acted sexually inappropriately toward male employees.

Garcetti has denied witnessing or being aware of any sexual harassment, and Jacobs has denied harassing anyone.

The mayor told The Times last week that he didn’t know when his nomination would be considered by the Senate. “This is totally outside my control,” Garcetti said.

Garcetti was announced as President Biden’s pick for the India post in July, but the hearing process has dragged out, leaving the mayor in limbo. The mayor endorsed Biden in the 2020 election and served as co-chair of his presidential campaign, and the India nomination is widely seen as a political favor to Garcetti.


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