Kevin de León was appointed Tuesday by the Los Angeles City Council to the vacant seat in District 14 to replace suspended Councilman José Huízar, City News Service reported.
De León was not present at the council’s virtual meeting.
The former president pro tem of the state Senate was elected to the seat in the March primary but was not scheduled to take over the CD-14 seat until December. Huízar, who was being termed out of office after the Nov. 3 election was suspended from City Council in June following his arrest on a federal racketeering charge stemming from a wide-ranging bribery investigation.
In August, the City Council appointed a “caretaker” to manage the district which includes all of Boyle Heights, most of downtown, and all or portions of several Northeast neighborhoods like Lincoln Heights, El Sereno and Highland Park. At the time, the Council said De León would not be able to take over the district, for personal reasons, earlier than Oct. 15.
Huízar, a lifelong Boyle Heights resident, never gave up the CD 14 seat despite being the center of a federal probe after his offices and his home were raided in 2018. Following his suspension, the city stopped payung his bi-weekly salary of more than $8,000.
The motion to appoint De León from Council President Nury Martínez cited the city charter, which allows the council to appoint a person in a vacant seat.
Huízar, 51, is accused of taking $1.5 million in bribes from developers in exchange for his support of downtown developments. He has pleaded not guilty to charges in a 34-count racketeering indictment and faces trial next June.