Cedillo, De León sue over leaked City Council recording

Former Los Angeles City Councilmember Gil Cedillo and current Councilmember Kevin De León have filed separate lawsuits over the leaked recording that led to a massive shakeup in LA City Hall last year. Both men in their lawsuits alleged invasion of privacy, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Cedillo and De León filed their lawsuits Friday. Cedillo in his complaint, targets the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, as well as Federation employees Santos Leon and Karla Vasquez, claiming the union was responsible for the recording, in which racist language was used while discussing redistricting plans for the city.

Neither Cedillo's nor De León's lawsuits appeared to have been processed by the LA County Superior Court, according to the Times.

De León's lawsuit targets only Leon and Vasquez, not the Federation. Both lawsuits claim that the meeting was "surreptitiously recorded" without their knowledge or consent.

Cedillo's complaint specifically also alleges that others on the recording, not Cedillo, "made comments that were perceived as highly offensive by many people," and some of the statements were taken out of context or improperly translated from Spanish slang.

The conversation in the recording happened in October 2021, but didn't come to light until Oct. 9, 2022. In the recording Cedillo, De León, former City Council President Nury Martinez and former Federation President Ron Herrera, were discussing ways to preserve Latino influence in the midst of City Council district boundary discussions.


In the recording, Martinez was heard making racially insensitive comments about former Councilmember Mike Bonin's Black son, among other comments. Protests led to Matinez resigning from the presidency, then her council spot shortly after. Herrera also resigned as Federation president. Cedillo had lost his reelection bid before the recording came to light, and despite continued protests, De León refused to resign from the Council and recently announced his own reelection campaign.

A Los Angeles Police Department investigation to determine who recorded the conversation is ongoing and neither Leon nor Vasquez, who are married according to the Times, has been publicly identified as suspects in the case.

When the recording was made, Vasquez was as an executive assistant to then Herrera and Leon was the organization's accountant. Both have since resigned.

City News Service contributed to this report.