JUDGE BLOCKS WESSON

Reprinted from 
https://www.courthousenews.com/

LOS ANGELES (CN) — A judge on Thursday morning granted a temporary restraining order against the Los Angeles City Council, temporarily blocking Herb Wesson from being seated as a councilman.

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Wesson had been sworn in on Tuesday after beingmously appointed by the 14 City Council members to temporarily fill the District 10 seat held by Mark Ridley-Thomas, who faces trial on bribery charges. Wesson served on the City Council for over 14 years, and as council president for eight years. Term limits barred him from running again, and he unsuccessfully ran for a seat on the LA County Board of Supervisors in 2020.


The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Southern California, a group once run by Ridley-Thomas, filed a lawsuit in LA Superior Court this past Friday, seeking to block Wesson's appointment and to reinstate Ridley-Thomas. In an amended complaint filed Wednesday, the group argued Wesson's appointment was a power grab by City Council President Nury Martinez.

"Ms. Martinez has used her position as council president to spearhead the suspension and replacement of MRT with an ally and mentor who not only helped her rise to the council presidency, but who will continue to advance her objectives, including
becoming acting mayor (while serving as council president) upon the impending departure of Mayor Eric Garcetti," the group says in its amended complaint. "So intent was Ms. Martinez (whose deputy is married to Mr. Wesson’s son) on installing Mr. Wesson in MRT’s seat that she ignored the city charter’s express term limits, which bar Mr. Wesson from serving again in the City Council."

Judge Mary Strobel said she didn't see anything in the city charter that gave the City Council authority to appoint a temporary councilmember.

During the City Council's public comment period on Tuesday, more than a dozen residents of District 10 urged the council to appoint Wesson, saying Ridley-Thomas' removal had left them without representation. But John Sweeney, the attorney representing the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, said voters had already shown their distaste for the former council president.

"Voters resoundingly rejected Herb Wesson when he ran for the Board of Supervisors," said Sweeney. "This is a person who served as a councilman for three terms. They felt that someone else was better qualified. They were offended that the city of LA shoved him back down their throats. Now their voice is heard."

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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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