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Council aide arrested on suspicion of domestic violence

January 5, 2009 |  4:15 pm

The deputy chief of staff for Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence, authorities said Monday.

Henry Casas, 40, Huizar's deputy chief of constituent outreach, was booked in lieu of $50,000 bail at the LAPD's Van Nuys jail on New Year's Eve, authorities said. He later posted bond and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 23.

Police officials did not provide details of the incident, including the relationship of the alleged victim to the council aide, but confirmed that the arrest took place at his San Fernando Valley home.

In a written statement, Huizar said he had placed Casas on paid administrative leave until the police investigation is resolved.

“For now, it would be inappropriate for me to comment on a case that is currently under investigation and until the facts are heard,” Huizar said in the statement. “Let me reiterate that I do not and will not condone domestic violence.”

Casas supervises community affairs in Huizar’s Eastside district, which takes in such neighborhoods as Boyle Heights, El Sereno and Eagle Rock.

Two years ago, he received at least $18,000 while working as a consultant for Huizar’s reelection campaign, according to Ethics Commission documents.

Last week’s incident comes nine months after Len Nguyen, an aide to City Councilman Bill Rosendahl, was charged with vandalism and assault after entering a home in West Hollywood that was not his.

In that case, Nguyen’s lawyer said his client was very drunk and entered the wrong condominium unit. Rosendahl put Nguyen on probation on the condition that he get counseling for alcohol abuse.

A year earlier, a receptionist for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was charged with filing a false police report after he told authorities that he had been robbed near City Hall.

The city attorney’s office said at the time that an investigation had found that Nestor Lopez had been stabbed by a homeless woman after reaching into her sleeping bag in the Civic Center.

Lopez, who no longer works at City Hall, pleaded no contest to one count of making a false police report, said Frank Mateljan, spokesman for City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.

--Andrew Blankstein and David Zahniser