Updated Oct 17, 2022 - Politics & Policy

L.A. City Council purges committees after racist remarks leaked

Acting Council President Mitch O'Farrell speaking in Los Angeles on Oct. 13.

Acting City Council President Mitch O'Farrell speaks in Los Angeles on Oct. 13. Photo: Dania Maxwell/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Acting Los Angeles City Council President Mitch O’Farrell said Monday he removed Councilmembers Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo from their committee chairmanships and assignments.

Driving the news: De León and Cedillo have faced calls to step down for participating in a discussion with anti-Black and anti-Indigenous comments, according to leaked audio obtained by the Los Angeles Times.

What they're saying: "My mission, and my duty, is to help this city heal, and to keep it moving forward, so that we can all move on from this terrible time," O’Farrell added.

  • O’Farrell said he has personally asked De León and Cedillo to step down.
  • "When I spoke with Mr. Cedillo last week, I felt that he was reconciling his feelings about this transgression and understood the gravity of the moment. I have not spoken with him since, but I do have confirmation he will not be at council."
  • "And I urged Mr. De León this morning. I have not heard a response back from Mr. De León since last week, since we spoke on Tuesday, and I made it really clear he absolutely should not attend any future council meetings."

The big picture: The council has been embroiled in disruption in the fallout of the scandal, with protesters disrupting meetings at City Hall last week.

  • O’Farrell said council rules require councilmembers to sit on at least one committee, though he said his office is "ironing out" the details of how the rule applies to De León and Cedillo.
  • The council is expected to vote Tuesday to elect a new president, a position O’Farrell said he does not want, according to the Times.

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