Former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz won a seat on the Huntington Beach City Council in November with the most votes in city history, and was unanimously appointed Mayor Pro Tem by his fellow members this month, but thanks to his anti-mask antics—plus his scant attendance at meetings—the Council is moving to oust him from the pro tem position, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Mayor Kim Carr, Councilman Mike Posey, and Councilman Dan Kalmick will introduce an agenda item at next Monday’s meeting accusing Ortiz, 46, of showing “little commitment to serving in the role with honor and dignity.”
The proposal—which calls for a vote of no confidence in Ortiz, his removal as Mayor Pro Tem, and finding his replacement—continues, “His unprofessional demeanor and poor judgement [sic] have raised concerns among residents, local business owners, and his fellow council members.”
The vocal Trump-supporter’s aversion to following COVID-19 safety protocols has put him at odds with much of the community since he was first elected. He showed up sans mask for his own swearing in ceremony and shortly thereafter got into a heated exchange with Kalmick and other members for showing up maskless to a council meeting.
During that incident, Carr took issue with one of Ortiz’s pet names for the COVID outbreak, telling him, “This is not a ‘plandemic.’ This is very real, and it’s up to us as Huntington Beach residents to protect one another… I’m sorry if I sound a bit exasperated, but it is absolutely emotional for me that we cannot get people just to do something simple as to wear a mask.”
In January, Carr prevented Ortiz from entering another meeting unless he put on a face covering, leading “the Huntington Beach Bad Boy” to complain on social media that he was forced to attend remotely.
“Welp,” he said, “we have our first workshop here for Huntington Beach City Council and we’re doing it at Huntington Beach Library. I go in for the meeting and [Mayor] Kim Carr says you can’t come in without a mask. Now I’ve gotta do it from Zoom. Great way to start the New Year off. Embarrassing.”
But perhaps the lifelong Huntington Beach resident’s biggest snafu came on January 17, when he blasted a longstanding local business, TK Burgers, for refusing to feed his unmasked face.
Ortiz sought forgiveness for his antics two days later, telling the Times, “I’m really emotional right now about a lot of things, and I apologized. I recanted everything, and that’s pretty much it.”
However, it’s not only Ortiz’s aversion to common sense health and safety measures that could stymie his political career. The members also say that, even though the pro tem job is largely ceremonial, he’s just not that into it.
“Realistically, if Kim gets sick and she can’t perform, Tito is in no position to take over and run our meetings,” Kalmick said. “He’s been not interested in learning how to do the job. He was a no-show, no-call for meetings this week for subcommittees that he helps make the quorum on, so those meetings are not held. I mean, we’ve reached our hand out to try to help make him successful in every way, and he has not taken that hand.”
Still, voters had ample opportunity to learn about Ortiz’s stance on the deadly virus before they cast their ballots. In an October 1 interview with the I Only Touch Greatness podcast, he predicted that both he and Trump would win their elections, after which, “All of a sudden this COVID thing’s gonna go away and they’re gonna say the numbers weren’t right. It’s just, it’s all a political scam, man. It’s population control. Population control by the left.”
Should the agenda item pass on Monday, Ortiz can still keep his seat on the council.
“I don’t believe he represents the majority of our council, and therefore we’re asking the majority of our council to remove him from a leadership role,” Kalmick said. “He still is welcome to serve on our council and all of that, but at this point, we’re not interested in having him serve in that role.”