San Diego

Chula Vista Councilmember Calls for Labor Leader's Resignation Due to Sexual Assault Allegations

A county government employee is accusing San Diego labor leader Mickey Kasparian of sexual assault – allegations Kasparian denies

A Chula Vista councilmember and former Chula Vista mayor is calling for the resignation of a local labor leader amid allegations of sexual assault.

Mickey Kasparian, the president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (UFCW) Local 135 and president of the San Diego Working Families Council, is accused by a county government employee of repeated sexual assaults.

The allegations have led his accuser, Melody Godinez, to file a lawsuit that claims he sexually assaulted her on several occasions beginning in May 2014.

In a letter sent to executive boards of organizations in which Mickey Kasparian is involved, democrats calling for the investigation said they want to practice what they preach as progressives. NBC 7’s Rory Devin has more.

Kasparian denies the claims, calling them “categorically and completely false.”

In a statement to NBC 7 this week, Kasparian said, in part: “The absolute truth here, as respected female labor leaders have confirmed, is that Ms. Godinez has been repeatedly inappropriate in the past, and has also threatened revenge against me personally.”

“As for the selective release of her testimony, this is not just the latest attempt at character assassination, it is a desperate attempt to hide the real truth. To be very clear, I have never – not once – been alone at any time with Ms. Godinez as she suggests. There are no truth or facts to anything she has said. Zero,” he added.

On Friday evening, Kasparian’s longtime colleague, Chula Vista City Councilmember Steven Padilla, who also served as mayor from 2002 to 2006, posted a message on Facebook calling for Kasparian to step down from his leadership roles.

“I believe the time has come to put the interests of his membership and the party before his own. I believe he should focus his efforts full time on addressing the accusations against him. The issue has become a huge distraction and will only impair his ability to give his full attention to his members and constituents,” Padilla’s statement said, in part.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher has also publicly asked Kasparian to resign.

NBC 7 first reported on sexual harassment allegations against Kasparian about a year ago, when a female employee filed a civil lawsuit against the UFCW.

In a lawsuit, Mickey Kasparian, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, is accused of gender discrimination and political retaliation by a former employee. NBC 7’s Omari Fleming reports.
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