A Glendale councilman is in settlement negotiations with a woman who alleges he groped her breast during an exchange at a restaurant last year.
Councilman Dave Weaver, who has faced accusations of inappropriate behavior in the past, adamantly denies groping Lolita Gonzalves, though he acknowledged during a phone interview with the Glendale News-Press that they argued at the restaurant.
During the argument, Weaver said, he pushed his hand toward her and told her to go away, adding that he is unsure where his hand landed because he looked away.
“It’s her word against mine,” Weaver said, adding that he was entertaining the settlement negotiations so as not to embarrass his family. “If it happened, it was accidental.”
In spring 2013, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office opened an investigation into the incident, which took place after a Tuesday evening council meeting. Prosecutors believed they had enough evidence to file misdemeanor charges, but spokeswoman Jane Robison said they did not because Gonzalves told authorities not to proceed. Gonzalves said she was confused and thought investigators had reached a dead end.
Attorneys for Gonzalves and Weaver have since been negotiating a settlement to prevent a civil lawsuit. Weaver, who ended his one-year term as mayor last week, has offered $2,000.
Gonzalves, however, wants $10,000 and a written admission and apology for the April 9, 2013 incident. She has known Weaver since 2007.
“This is not about money,” she said in an interview, adding that the money would go to her lawyer and her church or charities for battered women and children. “It’s about my pride and honor.”
Meanwhile, her attorney, Monty Manibog, has asked investigators to reopen the criminal case. Robison said prosecutors do consider reopening an investigation if the alleged victim requests it.
Manibog said he has not received a response to his March 19 request.