Los Angeles City Council committee censures three members amid fallout from racist recording scandal


Two Los Angeles City Council members and a former colleague were censured Wednesday during a raucous meeting amid an uproar over their roles in a leaked audio recording scandal in which they were heard making racist comments. 

The vote was made by the council’s Ad Hoc Censure Committee in a move to pressure Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo to step down amid growing calls for them to resign. Neither has attended a council meeting in two weeks. 

“In most people’s memories, it’s the first time there has been a censure motion heard against a councilmember,” Council President Paul Krekorian said at a briefing on Tuesday, Fox Los Angeles reported. 

The council doesn’t have the power to remove de Leon or Cedillo, whose term ends in December. De Leon can also be recalled. 

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Wednesday‘s meeting was another raucous affair, with protesters shouting down city leaders and demanding both members resign. Nury Martinez, the former council president, resigned days after reports of the leaked conversation between the three officials and a labor leader. 

She was also censured despite not being on the panel anymore because motions to do so were introduced before she left the council.

Demonstrators have frequently called for all council meetings to be put on hold until de Leon and Cedillo resign. 

During Wednesday’s meeting, police issued a dispersal order to empty the room. 

“As long as we can continue to do our business, that’s where I’m going to draw a clear line,” Krekorian said. “People can vent. People can yell. People can be rude. That’s OK. People can’t stop the business of the City Council of Los Angeles.”

Amid the fury over the recording, de Leon and Cedillo have remained defiant, even as President Biden has called for them to step down. In a Spanish-language interview last week, de Leon said he has no plans to leave. 

“I won’t resign because there is still a lot of work to be done,” he told Univision. “The crisis taking place in the district, the infections, unemployment, the threat of eviction, the homeless humanitarian crisis.”

Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore confirmed Tuesday that detectives are investigating whether the recording was made illegally. 

One former and two current Los Angeles City Council members were censured Wednesday amid the fallout of a leaked audio recording scandal.

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