Caretaker appointed after Nury Martinez resigns, special election considered

Following Nury Martinez's resignation from the Los Angeles City Council, the city's Chief Legislative Analyst will serve as a non-voting caretaker of the Sixth District effective immediately, under an appointment by Acting Council President Mitch O'Farrell Thursday.

In a statement, O'Farrell also said he will begin exploring holding a special election to fill Martinez's seat. Martinez's term was set to expire at the end of 2024.

Martinez resigned Wednesday following the weekend release of a recorded conversation from 2021 involving four elected officials that included a series of racist remarks, uttered primarily by Martinez.

Councilmen Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo, the other two council members heard on the tape, are also facing calls to resign but have so far defied them.

"Now that there is a vacancy in the Sixth Council District, the immediate appointment of a caretaker will ensure that the office continues to operate and that matters important to constituents are handled," O'Farrell said.

A special election would not take place until spring 2023 at the earliest.

"Most importantly, I want to hear from the constituents of the Sixth District, who deserve a full voice in their government," O'Farrell said. "This vacancy was created through no fault of their own."

At least two other council members -- Paul Krekorian and Marqueece Harris-Dawson -- signaled an intent to have a special election for Martinez's seat, as well as for de León's seat if he resigns. De León's term also expires in December 2024. Cedillo lost his re-election bid to Eunessis Hernandez earlier this year, and Krekorian suggested swearing in Hernandez immediately if Cedillo resigns.

Sharon Tso currently serves as the Chief Legislative Analyst. The office of the Chief Legislative Analyst advises the council on developing legislation, analyzing budgets and other policy research.

A non-voting caretaker does not hold a seat on the council, but oversees the council office to make sure the district provides constituent services and other basic functions.

Recently, Councilwoman Heather Hutt served as non-voting caretaker of the 10th District for several months before being appointed as council member last month in place of Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, who is suspended as he awaits trial on federal corruption charges. Previous fill-in Councilman Herb Wesson was legally barred from serving on the council.