Graciela Ortiz : LAUSD Candidate Under Investigation Removed from Counseling Job

Graciela Ortiz, a candidate for the Los Angeles school board, has been suspended from her job as a counseling administrator at L.A. Unified pending a confidential investigation. This move comes after a civil lawsuit was filed, alleging Ortiz and a political ally are responsible for the actions of a campaign worker who pleaded no contest to sexual misconduct with an underage volunteer. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, claims that both the perpetrator and victim were involved in campaign work for Ortiz and Efren Martinez in 2021.

Martinez, who is running for the 57th state Assembly district, and Ortiz, a Huntington Park City Council member running for District 5, are now facing scrutiny over their involvement in the situation. The district in question runs through parts of downtown L.A., South L.A., and southeast L.A. County, including Eagle Rock, Maywood, and Bell.

In addition to the sexual misconduct charges, the campaign worker, Billy Valdivia, also pleaded no contest to a weapons charge. The civil suit seeks unspecified damages for the victim, identified as “B.A.” In response, Ortiz and Martinez’s attorney has sent a letter demanding that the case be dropped, calling the allegations “malicious and defamatory” and accusing them of being a politically motivated smear.

This development has led to the school-employees union withdrawing its endorsement of Ortiz for the upcoming election. The investigation into the matter is ongoing, and the outcome could have significant implications for both Ortiz and Martinez’s political futures. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

For more information on this story, you can visit the LA Times website for the latest updates.

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