Disgraced LA councilman refuses to resign among mounting scandals: ‘He’s staying and that’s it’

Sorry, Los Angeles.

City Councilman Kevin de León isn’t planning on going anywhere — despite calls for his resignation following leaked audio of him making racist statements and regardless of the fact that every other city council member involved in the damning conversation has left their post.

As American Wire reported, de León took a two-month break from council chambers after the audio — which featured him, then-Council President Nury Martinez, council member Gil Cedillo, and County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera — went viral in mid-October.

Martinez resigned days after the audio surfaced, but de León held fast.

On the very same day of his return to council chambers, the embattled councilman was allegedly accosted by activist Jason Reedy at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Lincoln Park. The incident provided de León with another viral moment, as he was caught on video pushing Reedy onto a table, then strongarming him down what looks to be a hallway.


Both sides in the altercation blamed each other and calls for de León’s resignation intensified.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles City Hall once again erupted in shouts, according to Fox News Digital, which reported, “President Biden and virtually every California Democrat have called for de León’s resignation since the leaked audio surfaced in October.”

It’s a mighty fall for the man Democrats once called a “rising star” and a “trailblazer.”

But, according to a spokesperson for de León, he has yet to hit his bottom.

“He’s staying and that’s it,” the spokesperson told the outlet. “He’s made the decision to stay and represent his constituents on the pressing issues facing them.”

“At the end of the day, Councilmember de León is elected by the constituents of his district,” the spokesperson continued. “They’re his bosses. They hire and fire him at the voting booth.”

Few are impressed by de León’s determination to hold onto his job through the end of its term in December 2024.

Asked last week by CNN’s Kate Bolduan why he isn’t resigning, de León apologized “for not standing up” at the meeting in question.

“If you don’t think I’m profoundly sorry for participating in that meeting or for not standing up and shutting that meeting down and shutting down the vitriolic comments from the then-president of the council who did eventually resign — that’s something I forever will be sorry for, and that’s why I’m having constructive conversations and dialogues with folks outside of the community,” he said.

“It wasn’t just that you didn’t stand up,” Bolduan exclaimed, “you also took part in the conversation.”

“You compared the young black child of a fellow councilman to being an accessory, like a luxury handbag,” she reminded him.

According to Fox News Digital, de León has, since the audio leaked, been “censured by his colleagues and stripped of committee assignments,” but he is still collecting a salary.

“Los Angeles city councilmembers are some of the highest paid city officials in the country, raking in $229,000 annually,” the outlet reports.

But Los Angelenos are not prepared to sit idly by and wait for the two years left in his term to run out. A petition to recall him was recently approved by the Los Angeles City Clerk. Approximately 20,000 signatures will have to be collected by March 31, 2023, to push the effort to a vote.

It is the third time an intent to recall has been filed against de León.

Said the councilman’s spokesperson, “We’ll leave it to the voters.”


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Melissa Fine


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