Council Responds To Kevin de Leon Refusal To Resign


Councilmember Kevin de Leon spoke for the first time since the infamous leaked council audio recordings and said he did not intend to resign.

In interviews with Noticias Univision, a Spanish-language news outlet, de Leon said he intends to repair his relationship with his constituents and said he should have stopped the conversation that was occurring when it began to get inappropriate.

De Leon reiterated those points in a CBS2 interview, saying, “I have to help heal,” and speaking through a passive tone that passed blame to former council president Nury Martinez, Councilman Gil Cedillo and former Fed L.A. Union president Ron Herrera.

Within the hour-long leaked recording, de Leon could be heard engaging in conversations that pertained to Counciman Mike Bonin’s adopted son, who is Black, jokes about his Oaxacan constituents, and redistricting conversations that sparked an investigation by the California Department of Justice and led the council to present measures to change its redistricting process on Tuesday.

“Kevin de León cannot be part of the healing as long as he refuses to resign,” Bonin said in a statement Wednesday. “His stubborn refusal to do what everyone else knows is necessary is deepening the wound he has inflicted on Los Angeles.”

These are among de Leon’s words that protesters, Angelenos, the council itself and even the Biden Administration have latched onto since the leak.

Comparing Black protesters to the man behind the curtain in Wizard of Oz:

“They shout like they are 250, when there’s 100 of us… but when you actually pull the curtain… you see the little Wizard of Oz.” -Councilman de Leon

Comparing Councilman Bonin’s interactions with his Black son to:

“… when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag.” -Councilman de Leon

When the group discussed Councilmember Nithya Raman and her district as “not a district we can count on.”

“So you’re saying that’s the one to put in a blender and chop up left and right?” -Councilman de Leon

Councilman Mike Bonin:

“Kevin de León’s comments are gaslighting of the highest order. He describes cruel, dehumanizing remarks about a child as “flippant.” He says he should have “intervened,” as if he were a mere bystander to a racist conversation in which he played a central and ignominious role.

“Kevin de León has the opportunity to atone and seek forgiveness one day from all of Los Angeles, and from the Black community and from my son in particular. But that starts with his resignation from the City Council. No matter what he says – today, his comments on that tape make clear he is unfit for office in this city.

“He cannot be part of the healing as long as he refuses to resign. His stubborn refusal to do what everyone else knows is necessary is deepening the wound he has inflicted on Los Angeles.”

New Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian:

“Apologies will not be nearly enough to undo the damage that this city has suffered. The hateful words that were spoken in that secret meeting have re opened a deep and painful wound in this city. People are hurting and demand change. The only way we can begin to heal as a city is for Mr. De León to take responsibility for his actions, accept the consequences, and step down.

“I believe Mr. De León has it in him to be a better person than we heard on that tape, but apologizing is not the same as making amends. We need to show the world that there is no seat for racism, exclusion and disrespect on the Los Angeles City Council.”

Future District 1 Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez:

“There is a lot do work to be done, but you do not have the credibility to move it forward. You were willing to give up your seat when you ran for mayor. What’s changed? Do the right thing Kevin,resign. Your legacy will be your failure to take accountability for your harm.”

Councilman Bob Blumenfield:

“While I believe in individual redemption, the needs of the City are paramount. Having Mr. de Leon, as well as Mr. Cedillo, remain on this council is both a distraction and impediment for meeting these needs.

 

 

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