Sexual assault allegations come back to haunt the MC of Mayor Shyne’s inauguration

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Allegations against Richard Maggio re-surfaced during the city re-organization event that installed Sepi Shyne as Mayor and John Erickson as Mayor Pro Tem.

Maggio was chosen personally by Mayor Shyne to be the Master of Ceremonies. That did not sit well with one of Richard Maggio’s alleged victims.

As Maggio was introduced and took the stage, a shocked resident took to their cell phone. A text message was sent directly to Shyne, Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson and Council members Heilman, Meister and Byers.

The text message read :

“Richard Maggio sexually groped my neighbor and Paul Arevalo knew about it and so did John D’Amico. Sepi chose a sex offender to present at the city council meeting.”

Copies of emails obtained by WEHOville confirmed City Hall was aware of the allegations against Maggio. On April 30, 2014, former City Attorney Mike Jenkins wrote:

“Your complaint against Richard Maggio has been referred to me for investigation per the City’s administrative regulations.  An attorney from my office will be in touch with you to schedule a time for an interview.  In the meantime, please do not discuss this matter with any other City officer or employee.  Thank you for your cooperation. Michael Jenkins, City Attorney, City of West Hollywood.

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Under the City’s regulations governing allegations of this kind against City officials, the matter is forwarded to my office for investigation.  When this matter was forwarded to me, Mr. Maggio was aware of your allegations.”

The original complaint was made to former Council member John D’Amico. Maggio is the direct appointee of D’Amico and is serving out the balance of his term.

In an email obtained by WEHOville dated April 18, 2014, one of the alleged victims wrote to D’Amico:

“I was shocked and taken aback from our telephone conversation as you then tried to rationalize and tried to make an excuse that ‘maybe Richard Maggio was being playful.’ This is nothing ‘playful’ about the sexual groping of my neighbor, the harassment and threats by your commissioner, Richard Maggio, upon my neighbor (REDACTED) and myself. So I am requesting that you not have any conversation with Richard Maggio at all as I know you do not really understand the seriousness of what has transpired with Maggio’s sexual groping of my neighbor, his harassment by email to (REDACTED) and his threats, ultimatums to me and his interfering and involving himself in two separate tenant-versus-tenant issues in my apartment building that had nothing to do with him at all.
I will pursue this matter through different channels.”

D’Amico replied :

“I did take our conversation seriously.  Please do not minimize or exaggerate our conversation 
I have spoken to the city manager and the city will follow up with you and (REDACTED) and Richard. 
This is a serious matter regarding an appointed official. So thank you for contacting me.”

The email chain included former City Manager Paul Arevalo and the matter was forwarded to the City Attorney for investigation. According to the informant there was no follow-up from City Hall.

Shortly thereafter, Maggio decided to move from his rent-stabilized unit on Horn Avenue in WeHo Heights to a new affordable housing unit in the luxurious Domain building. The circumstances under which Maggio obtained the unit are suspect.

The law provides that if an owner buys a rental property they are allowed to re-locate the most recent tenant to have occupied a unit. Maggio was a long-term tenant but another longer term tenant named ‘George” was re-located based on the city’s re-location laws.

The Domain

It appears Maggio used his experience on the Rent Stabilization Commission and relationships at City Hall to secure his coveted affordable housing unit in the Domain. Maggio’s former landlord offered Richard $30,000 to move out of his unit. Maggio then approached Rent Stabilization Manager Peter Noonan for an affordable housing unit but was declined. Unconfirmed reports tell WEHOville that Social Services Manager David Guigni stepped in to offer Maggio a host of options including the Domain.

A one-bedroom apartment at the Domain currently rents for $3,500 per month, and the luxury building offers free coffee and snacks ’round the clock in the lobby. Maggio was able to collect the $30,000 and secure an affordable housing unit at the Domain.

Coincidentally, Mayor Shyne will appear with Maggio from 9-11 a.m. this Saturday at the Domain, located at 7141 Santa Monica Blvd., where he is hosting her “Sips with Sepi” monthly public outreach event.

WEHOville reached out to Maggio for clarification but he declined comment.


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Observer
Observer
10 months ago

I live in the Domain and have talked with Richard frequently. It is surprising that he is in an affordable housing unit. His social media shows him frequenting at the Waldorf Astoria for drinks. Something is wrong here.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
10 months ago
Reply to  Observer

Of course he would have drinks at the Waldorf Astoria. Do you think someone of his refinement and taste would be having drinks at the Motel 6? He is, after all, Sepi’s tuxedo-wearing chosen emcee. He’s the new “roastmaster general”. He’s Weho’s “go-to” person for comedy and storytelling. Have you ever watched a replay of him in action at a rent control meeting? He’s a riot. I suspect after a few $25 cocktails at the Waldorf, he’s loosened up enough, and starts laughing and telling stories about what a bunch of chumps the people are, who wait their turn for… Read more »

Deceptive Behavior
Deceptive Behavior
10 months ago
Reply to  Observer

Richard Maggio and his mentor Sepi Shyne make a mockery of anything truly fair and noble about the original goals and intentions of West Hollywood. Greater than that is the perverse desire of Shyne to claim support for justice, social or otherwise or for that matter honest dignity. Such a sad community we have become to accept this deceptive behavior.

Joseph Bologna
Joseph Bologna
11 months ago

I’m not gonna read this whole story, but is it saying that somebody made accusations through their cell phone and we’re supposed to automatically believe it? Or did they actually go to the police with proof and file a report and it’s on record? Because that makes a very big difference. Or is this one of those cases where somebody says that person touched them 75 years ago at a party?

Last edited 11 months ago by Joseph Bologna
WehoQueen
WehoQueen
11 months ago
Reply to  Joseph Bologna

The way I understand it, someone made allegations to the city, and the city was required to investigate, and they dropped the ball and didn’t investigate. Are you in favor of the city dropping the ball?

PLEASE RESIGN
PLEASE RESIGN
1 year ago

Mr. Maggio, when are you going to demonstrate a single noble act and RESIGN from the Rent Stabilization Commission and find a legitimate place to live that you didn’t purloin from another deserving individual. You really you might be legally culpable for misrepresenting the facts that enabled you to obtain your apartment.

Cowardice
Cowardice
11 months ago
Reply to  PLEASE RESIGN

Not even respectful enough to properly resign,Richard Maggio just went slinking off by not continuing when his term was up. Cowardice.

Don Jones
Don Jones
1 year ago

It’s been a couple of weeks since this article was posted and I continue to think about the allegations in the article.

For a city hall insider to receive an affordable housing unit is pretty egregious. It makes me wonder how many other insiders have been given the same preferential treatment.

I hope city hall is looking into the various allegations.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Jones

You would think there would be pitchforks at City Hall, but no one on the City Council seems the least bit disturbed by the allegations. It seems they are protecting one of their own in power.

I note that there hasn’t been a single comment in support of Richard Maggio.

Extremely Troubling
Extremely Troubling
1 year ago
Reply to  Don Jones

Wonder if it had anything connection with the mysterious disappearance of Peter Noonan Rent Stabilization & Housing Manager.

Must Not Stand
Must Not Stand
1 year ago

This is a shocker. It also speaks to the questionable character of an affluent resident such as this, who would sink this low, to cheat a really qualified person who really needs help surviving & this makes the difference in them not being homeless. It also speaks to the character of a trusted city employee being complicit in this travesty, it’s shameful & they both should be ashamed if they have any. Reflections of George Santos. This must be dealt with in an honest way by honest agents of the city.

Ida Claire
Ida Claire
1 year ago

Is there going to be any follow-up on this “Richardgate” abuse of the city’s affordable housing units, the means by which he snuck into one of them, apparently aided & abetted by someone or someones inside City Hall? This is a slap in the face to those qualified low-income residents who are on a waiting list for these units. It’s also a slap in the face to the voters who probably weren’t aware this corruption was going on right under their noses. But now we know – & we demand answers from the city, including who authorized this unauthorized move… Read more »

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  Ida Claire

I’ll answer your question. No, there won’t be any follow-up about “Maggiogate”. Yes, it is a slap in the face to the genuinely low-income residents, on the endless waiting lists, but that is the way those in power want it to be. If you are not one of the connected people, in power, you are dirt to those that are. Wehoans make fun of how corrupt the Republicans and Trumpies are, but our City is probably much worse than them, as our corrupt representatives pretend they are as pure as the driven snow. You can demand all the answers you… Read more »

West
West
1 year ago
Reply to  Ida Claire

Who else has benefited from this political nepotism? We need a serious investigation and independent audit of the affordable housing Dept. ASAP

hjifi5000
hjifi5000
1 year ago

After reading about John D’Amico’s attitude toward the complainant in the harassment matter,I am glad he is out of office.When I watched him during Zoom council meetings,he seemed tired and distracted.I guess he wasn’t really paying attention and wanted out of office.

As for Maggio,West Hollywood residents need to make sure he is not reappointed to this rent board position.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  hjifi5000

Maybe John D’Amico was more interested in helping his appointee/special friend, anti Ellis Act, but pro accepting Ellis Act money Richard Maggio, allegedly get nearly free luxury housing, courtesy of the taxpayers. If it was sexual harassment allegations against someone not connected to John D’Amico, maybe it would have been a bigger priority.

Extremely Troubling
Extremely Troubling
1 year ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

This is a very troubling issue particularly since it appears to be swept under the rug and Maggio continues to benefit from this affordable housing. It is a huge black mark on the City that continues to advocate for affordable housing above safety and all else. It could be a huge issue even with D’Amico gone. Maggio is still residing in this purloined housing.

Weho Mary!
Weho Mary!
10 months ago
Reply to  hjifi5000

You would be tired as well if you were on the popular hookup app, Scruff, for hours at a time. I guess that’s the life of the “unapologetic”. She needs some hobbies!

Stayed too long.
Stayed too long.
1 year ago

33 years as a Rent Stabilization Commissioner? Not much integrity garnered.🙄 How about a resignation on Thursday.

Resign
Resign
1 year ago

Hopefully some public speakers will request that Commissioner Maggio resign for conduct unbecoming to a municipal commissioner.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  Resign

The speaker I woukd like to hear would be the person who got pushed off the lottery list, to make room for the Vaseline Alley Viagra stock portfolio alleged low income 33 year Commissioner. Is that person homeless and sleeping on a sidewalk grate, so a tuxcedo wearer doesn’t have to?

Investigate
Investigate
1 year ago

It’s time for a formal investigation of city hall’s affordable housing casino scam

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  Investigate

Guarantee you, there won’t be any investigation. No current councilperson has the backbone or integrity to expose the truth of their affordable housing scam, nor has there been any councilperson in the entire history of the city, with the integrity needed. Sepi was smiling posing with Richard Maggio just yesterday, clearly bith aware of the mess. I would suggest anyone seeing this guy around town confront him and ask him, politely, how he got the coveted luxury unit. And if he’s as poor as he is supposed to be. And if he really supports the Ellis Act or not. And… Read more »

Answers R Overdue
Answers R Overdue
1 year ago
Reply to  WehoQueen

There MUST be an investigation of this Maggio “affordable housing” travesty & the public MUST know exactly what the story is & how it unfolded. If the “peoples’ representatives” don’t get off their duffs & take control of this mess, then they too are suspect & the city attorney, manager, social services administrator, special investigator etc, MUST uncover the truth. This MUST not be allowed to stand & MUST be publicly resolved. Even if it takes a public demonstration in front of City Hall & the West Hollywood Library. THIS is the peoples’ business!

Call us Curious & Curiouser
Call us Curious & Curiouser
1 year ago

This is what my roommate called an incredible f—ing mess. He also was wondering if this is just the tip of the iceberg & how many other affordable units (if any) were charitable gifts to other “privileged” city employees, using this same corrupt “system”. And we were also wondering if Social Services manager David Guigni did this entirely on his own (which seems doubtful) or if he was in fact given the recommendation (& the wink of an eye) by a City Council person or other. The whole scenario is shameful, especially for such a small city & familiar faces),… Read more »

Eastside Straight Girl
Eastside Straight Girl
1 year ago

I agree with your roommate that this is only the tip of the iceberg of shady deals & WeHo corruption. Shedding light on these subjects is always a good thing. More transparency is needed throughout all goon’t, not just here in our little city. Problem is that the city staff is also intertwined. Calling it a F”in mess is just not a strong enough description!

WeHo Gadfly
WeHo Gadfly
1 year ago

Thanks Wehoville for disclosing more skeletons in D’Amico’s, closet. There is a long wait list/lottery for these apartments administered by the West Hollywood community housing corp. Commissioner Maggio used his influence to bypass the system and subsequently boasted about being offered his choice of the City’s available units. No doubt John D’Amico was complicit in this. Anyone who knows Maggio has heard him boast about his sizeable stock portfolio. He is likely he is paying less than $800. /month at this point.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  WeHo Gadfly

Richard Maggio wants to have it both ways. Getting benefits of being poor, by making bad life choices, yet parading around in tuxedos, able to afford Viagra, stock portfolios, luxury taxpayer funded housing etc. I wonder if Damico could be facing corruption charges, as he appears to have his stamp of approval on this. A lottery for residents, choice of cheapo deluxe apartments for a rent commissioner. With Sepi in charge of “her staff”, we can all sleep well knowing all will be held accountable. NOT.

WehoQueen
WehoQueen
1 year ago
Reply to  WeHo Gadfly

And one has to wonder which genuine low income senior was likely pushed off the list, to make room for Richard Maggio.

WeHo Mary!
WeHo Mary!
1 year ago
Reply to  WeHo Gadfly

I’m sure some people would love to investigate this, especially if they knew that some were given preferential treatment over black and brown folks.

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