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.
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.
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.