Editorial: Resign, Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo resign in protest of the corruption
Sitting in the dark, and not exactly sure what to expect from the Council, I was surprised to walk into the Council Chambers at City Hall. From the outside, it does not look much like a Senate committee holding hearings. It is not the appearance of a senate committee holding hearings – it looked more like a chamber of a house, with rows of chairs. There were a few journalists watching and recording the proceedings, but they did not seem overly interested in the proceedings or the Council members.
Many Council members had already resigned. This was in reaction to the Council’s action on Monday night. Most of the resignations happened Monday night, but some were made in the weeks prior.
The first to resign was Nury Martinez, the former Council president, who was seen as having the most influence over City Hall and was perhaps the most powerful in the city. His resignation came in protest, saying he couldn’t work under Council President Gil Cedillo. Cedillo is now refusing to give in, and Martinez said he was only joining the protest in protest of Cedillo’s “constant attitude toward corruption”. Cedillo is accused by a court of improperly influencing the Council to approve the demolition of the historic Zocalo Church, which a group of anti-Cedillo protestors had successfully tried to stop.
In the weeks leading up to this, Council member Kevin de León had resigned, and Council member Gil Cedillo had also resigned from his Council seat in protest of their actions on Monday night. It is clear that many Council members who were accused of corruption were in fact, those who were trying to make improvements to the city.
A few weeks ago, City Council, led by Cedillo, passed an ordinance that removed the power of an independent auditor, Michael Mondo, from looking into the city’s books. The city council refused to fire Mondo because of corruption, and, as Council President Cedillo has pointed out, he was a “poor man”.
At the time, Council member Kevin de León told the media, “If we are going after an