LA politicians to lose board positions over race scandal

LOS ANGELES (AP) – The president of the Los Angeles City Council escalated pressure Monday on two members to resign over their participation in a private meeting where they did not object to a colleague’s crude and racist remarks and occasionally joined in the banter.

Acting Council Speaker Mitch O’Farrell said Gil Cedillo and Kevin de Leon will be stripped of their board and chair posts as pressure mounts on veteran Democratic politicians.

“These members have lost all credibility, all respectability,” O’Farrell said at a news conference at City Hall.

The two men have rejected calls to step down despite widespread condemnation that led former council president Nury Martinez to resign last week.

The leaked footage threw the council into chaos as angry protesters shut down meetings.

The body will meet literally Tuesday after Council member Mike Bonin — the target of Martinez’s most outrageous remarks — tested positive for COVID-19 after an Oct. 11 meeting and at least one other member was exposed, O’Farrell said.

In a video made by an unknown person a year ago, Martinez dominated the conversation and made the most offensive comments, often using profanity. De Leon and Cedillo spoke at times and laughed at others.

De Leon apologized for appearing to make or condone “insensitive comments.” Cedillo said he should have objected to the language, but made no derisive remarks himself.

Both appeared at the meeting on October 11, but walked out after being jeered by rowdy protesters who demanded they leave.

Cedillo “is coming to terms with his feelings about this transgression and understands the gravity of the moment,” O’Farrell said. He couldn’t reach de Leon.

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