A small group of Council District 14 residents have taken the first step to initiate a new recall of embattled councilmember Kevin de León, City News Service reported this week.
The City Clerk’s office confirmed that a notice of intent to recall was filed on Thursday by five district residents, the news organization said. Among those signing the document is Eagle Rock resident Pauline Adkins, who made two prior recall attempts against de León.
A spokesperson for the councilmember said that Adkins had also previously filed a third intent to recall, but it was later dropped.
“After three failed attempts, yet another recall that distorts his record will not distract the councilmember or his office from continuing to serve the people of Council District 14,” communications director Pete Brown said in a statement to CNS. “He will keep moving forward important projects and issues that threaten the communities and the lives of his constituents.”
De León and fellow councilmember Gil Cedillo have defied widespread calls to resign over racist statements and attempts to manipulate redistricting made during a 2021 conversation that was secretly recorded and leaked this month.
In a series of interviews over the last ten days, De León has repeated his intention to remain on the council – where he earns a yearly salary of over $200,000– stating that he still has a lot of work to do in his district.
This is what he said in his first interview after the scandal, on Oct. 19, speaking in Spanish to Univision anchor Leon Krauze:
“No renunciaré porque hay mucho trabajo por encima. Hay mucho trabajo que tenemos que enfrentar. La crisis que se está llevando a cabo en el distrito, las infecciones, el desempleo, la amenaza del desalojo, la crisis humanitaria de los indigentes”.
De León’s involvement in the conversation and his refusal to resign are included in the statement of reasons in the notice of intent to recall:
“Even though the City Council has called for his resignation, and have stripped him of his committee assignments, Kevin de León has refused to resign. He currently cannot represent the stakeholders of Council District 14.”
An audio file of the leaked recording is currently posted on the recall campaign’s web page.
If the recall proceeds, organizers would need to collect signatures from 21,006 registered voters in CD14 –15% of the total– in 120 days once the petition is certified. If the signature collection is successful, the city would schedule a recall election in the district, which besides Boyle Heights includes parts of downtown LA, El Sereno, Lincoln Heights and other Northeast communities.
De León has not attended a council meeting since Oct. 11. On Wednesday, the city’s governing body voted to censure both De León and Cedillo, who has not made any public statements since the recordings were leaked.
Cedillo, a Boyle Heights native who represents the city’s First District, cannot be recalled because he is set to leave office in December after losing his reelection bid in the June primary.