LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) – The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday formally reprimanded two members and its former president for their involvement in a racism scandal that has sparked days of protests, police and state investigations, and City Hall shook the public’s confidence in him.
The 12-0 vote represented the strongest move to advise former city council president Nuri Martinez and council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin De Leon, who were publicly criticized for their crude and fanatical comments during the 2021 meeting. Council to reprimand them, recorded in secret, in which Latino Democrats devised plans to protect their political influence in the redistribution process at the expense of blacks and tenants.
The council cannot expel members, it can only suspend one when criminal charges are pending. Although the reprimand is largely symbolic, it adds to pressure from the political spectrum for the resignations of Cedillo and de León.
Counselor Paul Koretz said he was shocked to hear the offensive comments he said had seriously damaged trust in the government. Like it or not, he regretted that the recording was a reflection of the entire council.
“It will take us years to rebuild this trust,” Koretz said before the vote.
Councilman Curran Price called the reprimand “an important step on a long road to healing” and the lack of power to expel members was the most drastic measure the council could take.
Shortly after the tapes were released earlier this month, Martinez resigned along with Ron Herrera, an influential union leader who was present at the meeting.
Yet Cedillo and De Leon have resisted widespread calls, including for President Joe Biden, for him to resign, and have become political outcasts among their peers.
“Nobody attending the meeting should hold an elected office,” Koretz said.