Kevin de León recall effort launched amid City Hall racism scandal

A notice of intent to recall embattled Los Angeles City Councilman Kevin de León was filed Thursday, the City Clerk's Office confirmed.

The notice of intent was signed by five residents of the 14th District, including Pauline Adkins, who made two prior recall attempts against de León. Pete Brown, de León's communications director, said Adkins had also previously filed, but later dropped, a third intent to recall.

"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," Brown said in a statement to City News Service. "He will keep moving forward important projects and issues that threaten the communities and the lives of his constituents."

Adkins did not immediately return a phone call or text message late Thursday afternoon, but a website announcing the recall campaign lists her as the main contact.

De León, along with Councilman Gil Cedillo, has defied fierce and widespread calls to resign for taking part in a leaked 2021 conversation that involved racist comments and attempts to manipulate redistricting.

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Under the statement of reasons in the notice of intent, the organizers cited de León's refusal to resign over the scandal.

"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," the statement reads. "He currently cannot represent the stakeholders of Council District 14."

The organizers would need to collect signatures from 21,006 registered voters in District 14 -- 15% of the total -- in 120 days once the petition is certified.

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Cedillo cannot be recalled because there is not enough time before his term expires in December after he lost his reelection bid in the June primary.

De León's term runs until December 2024.

During several interviews over the past week, de León has claimed that resigning would be the easy way out, and he wants to do the work of healing with the communities that he has hurt.

De León has not attended a council meeting since Oct. 11, and Council President Paul Krekorian said this week that if de León does attempt to come back, other members of the council would leave the meeting.