LA City Council Scandal: Sheriff Alex Villanueva discusses audio tapes of Nury Martinez's conversation

Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva discussed the Nury Martinez audio tapes alleging more corruption in the City Hall.

On Wednesday, Villanueva discussed the taped conversations allegedly between former Los Angeles City Councilmember Nury Martinez, Councilmembers Gil Cedillo, Kevin de León and former labor federation leader Ron Herrera.

In the audio tape, Los Angeles County Board Supervisor Hilda Solis allegedly spoke about some kind of audit vote, which Martinez advises caution.

"I go, 'Well, I get it Hilda but cuidate, because were you voting on this [redacted] too?" the apparent voice of Martinez could be heard in the tape.

"Hilda should be careful," the apparent voice of de León responded.

"That's what I said," the apparent voice of Martinez said. 

In the same series of conversations, the group could be heard joking about investigations by the feds.

"She was under FBI investigation herself. I know," the apparent voice of de León could be heard saying in the tape.

"I guess we all have," the apparent voice of Martinez could be heard saying on tape.

Villanueva claims he's being targeted by the Board of Supervisors with the help of city politicians and labor leaders. In the other tape, the audio allegedly captured the voices of Herrera and a staffer discussing how to get support from the board and local Democratic clubs. 

"What do we not know? What conversations are going on behind closed doors with all the city council and the Board of Supervisors with trying to lever each other's elected position, basically to game it to their advantage," Villanueva said.

Villanueva's decision to release the tapes come as he is in the middle of a re-election bid for Sheriff. He and former Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna are facing off for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's seat.

Last week, Martinez resigned from the City Council following backlash over racially charged remarks in a different set of leaked audio tapes. The controversial tapes have prompted calls for Cedillo and de León to also step down with Martinez.


Following FOX 11's airing of Wednesday night's story, Robert Luna's campaign issued the following statement:

"What Villanueva didn’t mention at his press conference is that Kevin de León was his top supporter in his 2018 campaign. Villanueva would never have been elected without Kevin de León’s help."

‘LA IN CRISIS: The Call for Change'

So where do we go from here? On Thursday, FOX 11 and the Los Angeles Times are teaming up to have a town hall discussion to address the Los Angeles City Council scandal, in addition to talking about the city's major issues and brainstorming possible solutions.

The town hall discussion airs Thursday, October 20 at 6 p.m. You can tune in to FOX 11 News or watch online or on our streaming platforms.