Former Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez Resigns After Leaked Recording of Racist Comments


Nury Martinez has resigned from the Los Angeles City Council following the leak of a recording of him making racist remarks about the son of a fellow councillor. Martinez before resigned as president council on Monday.

“It is with a broken heart that I resign my seat in Council District 6, the community in which I grew up and my home,” Martinez said in a statement Wednesday. “When I ran for office in 2013, I wanted to see change in my community and fight for my neighbors. That’s what it was all about. No one expected me to win, but with the support of residents across the district, I overcame the challenge and won a seat in 6th City District. I have had the honor of serving in the role of a lifetime: to be a representative of my neighbors.”

Martinez, the first ever Latina to become president of the LA City Council did not show up for Tuesday’s council meeting, taking what she called a “time off.”

Her comments were recorded around October 2021 during a conversation about the redistricting process, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The newspaper says Martinez, Councilmen Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and LA County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera participated in the call, where they also discussed Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who would he was charged with federal corruption. Herrera also resigned from his post on Monday after the audio was leaked.

During the conversation, according to the newspaper, Martinez referred to Councilman Mike Bonino’s son, who is Black, as “Parece changuito”, which translates from Spanish to English as “the little monkey”.

Martinez is also heard on the tape complaining about the child’s behavior at the Martin Luther King Day parade, saying Bona’s son was misbehaving on the float, which could have been overturned if she and the other women on the float hadn’t stepped in to “parent this child.”

“They’re raising him like a little white kid,” Martinez said. “I was like, ‘This kid needs a beat. Let me take him by the corner and then I’ll bring him back.’

The Times reported that Martinez and other Latino leaders who were on the call apparently did not know it was being recorded. It is unclear who recorded and leaked the audio.

“As a mother, I know better and I’m sorry,” Martinez said in a previous statement Monday morning. “I am truly ashamed. I know this is the result of my own actions.”

Addressing Bonino and his husband, Martinez said in a statement, “I apologize to your entire family for putting you through this.”

In response to Martinez’s resignation, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office he tweeted“This is the right thing to do. What these elected leaders have said is deeply troubling and racism cannot be tolerated in California.”

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement that “Nury made the right decision, a decision that I realize is painful for her personally, but undoubtedly in the best interest of the city that I know she loves,” adding that “her two former colleagues must come to the same decision soon,” referring to Councilors Cedillo and De León.

All three members of the hearing faced the challenge local and national pressure to resign.

Following Martinez’s resignation, several other council members, incl Heather Hutt, Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Mitch O’Farrellthey repeated their calls for Cedillo and De León to resign as well.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre he told reporters on Tuesday that President Biden has been following the LA City Council story closely and believes that all parties involved in the call should resign, either for using or tolerating such “appalling” language.

“Look, the president is happy that one of the participants in that conversation has resigned,” Jean-Pierre said. “But they all should. They believe they should all resign. The language that was used and tolerated during that conversation was unacceptable and it was appalling. They should all resign.”

Mark Strassmann and Kathryn Watson contributed reporting.



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