Kevin de Le贸n Speaks: Embattled L.A. City Councilman Has No Plans To Resign

The councilman has asked to be excused from meetings as the fallout from the City Hall leaked audio scandal continues
244

Embattled L.A. City councilman Kevin de Le贸n informed two media outlets on Wednesday that he does not intend to listen to Los Angeles protesters and various colleagues and officials and resign from his role.

Despite calls to resign from Angelinos, President Joe Biden, and nearly all of his colleagues, de Le贸n, 55, has stated in interviews with Univision and CBS2 that he will not step down over his involvement in the City Hall leaked audio scandal.

鈥淚鈥檝e always been up against many, many challenges,鈥 de Le贸n told聽CBS2. 鈥淎nd obviously, this is the biggest one I鈥檝e ever been confronted with in my life.鈥 de Le贸n says that the city needs to heal, and he 鈥渨ants to be a part of that.鈥

The October 2021 conversation between de Le贸n and then-Council President Nury Martinez, council member Gil Cedillo, and the then-president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor Ron Herrera, included racist comments and discussions over favorable redistricting and led to Martinez resigning her presidency and later her council seat last week.

鈥淚鈥檓 not going to mince words,鈥 de Le贸n said. 鈥淚鈥檓 not going to deflect blame. I鈥檓 not going to defend the defenseless.鈥

Facing mounting pressure since the tape leaked, de Le贸n sent a letter鈥攚hich was obtained by the Los Angeles Times鈥to the newly named council president asking to be excused from attending meetings 鈥渋n the coming weeks鈥 so that he can focus on his efforts to aid the healing process.

Krekorian did not appear to accept de Le贸n鈥檚 attempts to make amends. In a statement, Krekorian said, 鈥渁pologies will not be nearly enough to undo the damage that this city has suffered鈥he only way we can begin to heal as a city is for Mr. de Le贸n to take responsibility for his actions, accept the consequences, and step down.鈥

De Le贸n, however, has other plans, stating to聽Univision, 鈥淚 will not resign because there鈥檚 a lot of work ahead. There鈥檚 a lot of work that we have to face. The crisis that is happening in the district, the infections, the unemployment, the threat to eviction, the humanity crisis of the homeless鈥鈥檓 very sorry. I鈥檓 sorry and for that, I ask for apologies from my people, to my people, for the pain that my hurtful words caused from that day a year ago.鈥

De Le贸n has been on the council since 2020 and made an unsuccessful run for mayor this year. He previously served in the state Senate and Assembly.

City News Service聽contributed to this report

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.