After not quite seven months on the job, Tito Ortiz has quit his position as Mayor Pro Tem of Huntington Beach, the former UFC Light Heavyweight champ announced at a City Council meeting Tuesday.
A noted anti-masker and Trump supporter, Ortiz told the assemblage that he was resigning effective immediately due to concerns about his family’s safety, as well as criticism in the press.
“From day one, I was sworn in and I was met with hostility and judgment,” Ortiz said in a video later posted to Twitter. “Being a public figure, nothing is new. However, to be the sole focus of character assassination each and every week, with multiple news stories and leaked personal information, all of which were in hopes to slander and defame my name—I thought I was up to this job, but I knew I had over 40,000 constituents who were there counting on me… To put it simply, this job isn’t working for me.”
TITO RESIGNED 🎉🎉 pic.twitter.com/Zcnz9fuMm3
— 🦋🍄🐢🐬👽 (@blahblahwhynot) June 2, 2021
Since taking office in December, public service has been a bumpy ride for Ortiz. After being elected to the council with the most votes in city history, Ortiz showed up for his swearing-in ceremony without a mask and proceeded to get into a heated argument with Councilman Dan Kalmick about it.
In January, Kalmick, Mayor Kim Carr, and fellow council member Mike Posey introduced a proposal to remove Ortiz as Mayor Pro Tem, accusing him of showing “little commitment to serving in the role with honor and dignity.”
Last month, Ortiz caught considerable heat when it was revealed that he applied for unemployment insurance despite still making $1,500 a month from his council job, plus a stipend and expenses.
As for who will replace Ortiz, City Manager Oliver Che told Voice of OC during a break in the meeting, “We’re trying to get that all figured out. We’ll have more, I think, to share tomorrow.”
In closing, Ortiz said, “I did as best as I possibly could do and I hope I didn’t let anybody down. I hope you guys have a wonderful night.”
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