LOS ANGELES – Describing herself as “a Black woman, not a pawn” after a leaked recording involving three council members and a top county labor official last year indicated she was a preferred candidate to serve as a fill-in council member for the 10th District, Councilwoman Heather Hutt called Monday for colleagues Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo to resign.
Hutt was mentioned as part of a larger conversation that involved racial slurs directed at Councilman Mike Bonin’s son and strategizing on how the council members could impact the redistricting process to work in their favor. L.A. County Federation of Labor President Ron Herrera was also part of the discussion — that took place in October 2021 and was leaked on Sunday — but Hutt did not call for his resignation.
“The racist and homophobic comments made by Nury Martinez, Kevin de León, and Gil Cedillo in 2021 hurt all Angelenos to our core,” Hutt said. “We cannot and will not tolerate this level of hate towards anyone. Not in Los Angeles, not in California and not in the United States of America.”
The four officials on the tape were discussing what they might do if the 10th District seat became vacant after Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was indicted on federal corruption charges.
The temporary replacement “would have to support the three of you,” Herrera told Martinez, de León and Cedillo.
“The one who will support us is Heather Hutt,” Cedillo said.
Hutt was later appointed to the seat by the council in September, though Hutt’s hearing was initially blocked by five council members who thought the process was too rushed. Bonin was one of two council members to vote against Hutt’s appointment, while Martinez, Cedillo and de León each enthusiastically supported her candidacy.
“The pain caused to Mike’s family is inexcusable and I ask that we surround his family with the unconditional love that they need and deserve,” Hutt said.
Hutt is serving until the charges against Ridley-Thomas are dropped or the seat becomes permanently vacant. Ridley-Thomas’ trial is set for November.
Hutt claimed in a statement that she had no prior knowledge of the conversation that was leaked on Sunday.
“The people of the 10th District have been without a voice for far too long and I will continue to speak for all the neighborhoods in the 10th District as long as I serve on this council,” Hutt said.