Kevin de León’s Resignation is a Classic Example of the Type of Politics That Defends the City Council

Editorial: What happens after Councilman Kevin de León’s apology tour?

Councilwoman Monica G. Martinez, who is the lead sponsor of the council’s resolution approving the resignation of Kevin de León, spoke to members of the Editorial Board on Monday, Nov. 26, 2014, shortly before de León’s apology tour of the City Council.

Kevin de León is a Republican who is currently a Council rep, but was first elected to the City Council in 2013. A second term is available for him in 2016. He will be 63 years old by the next general election.

His resignation is the culmination of his conflict with the City Council over the mayor’s request that de León resign after he was found to have violated the council’s ethics rules by filing a ballot initiative campaign in the city — a violation that led to his election to the City Council. At the core of the conflict is allegations that de León’s staff violated state campaign laws by giving the council campaign contributions in the midst of his campaign and that some of the money was used for improper purposes. The council has already begun what will likely be a lengthy and expensive legal battle to determine whether de León committed any violations, and the City Council, which has not made a decision on whether to accept his resignation, agreed to postpone a scheduled vote to consider the resolution.

Councilman Martinez’s response to the allegations has been a classic example of the type of politics that defines so much of the City Council. The councilwoman has taken time to send a letter to De León, which she characterized as a show of good faith in light of his admitted wrongdoing, and has accused him of having an “affair” with her brother, who is a Council rep. She has said that her brother “was very concerned” that the matter had only gotten worse since his death.

In the following months, Martinez and other councilmembers have gone on to criticize de León and his campaign, but not at the same time as they have criticized him, as if de León’s political future was somehow tied to his relationship with the councilwoman. There have been numerous media reports and public events to show that the councilwoman is using her position as a way to advance her own political ambitions and career.

Councilwoman de León

Councilman Martinez’s criticism of de León has been well received by the public at large

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