You know, throughout this entire Los Angeles City Council scandal, never once did we find out who recorded the phone call that set this thing ablaze. Well, according to AP News, that person could be in big trouble if the Los Angeles Police Department finds the leaked audio was recorded illegally.
According to California law, everyone must consent to the recording of a private conversation or phone call. The person recording could face criminal or civil penalties, including a lawsuit from the “injured party,” which in this case would be former council president Nury Martinez. She and the unpopular council members Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo asked the LAPD to open an investigation into what they believe was eavesdropping Friday, per Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore.
A lawsuit is likely their only line of defense here. Though, the attorney general is conducting an investigation into the audio’s content that could bring criminal charges against the three.
Read more from AP News:
The group, all Latino Democrats, was captured on the recording scheming to protect their political clout in the redrawing of council districts during an hourlong, closed-door meeting that was laced with bigoted comments. They used racist language to mock colleagues — as well as one councilman’s young Black son — while they planned to protect Latino political strength in council districts.
Other questions remain about what the investigation could entail and whether other recordings were made at the labor federation’s headquarters.
The state is separately investigating how the council districts were drawn and whether the process was rigged. Attorney General Rob Bonta, a Democrat, has said his investigation could lead to civil liability or criminal charges, depending on what is found.
Governor Gavin Newsom, President Biden and hundreds of LA residents have expressed their desire for every person involved in this phone call to resign or be removed from office. For now, Cedillo and de León have been stripped of their committee assignments. De León previously stated he wasn’t going to resign because he wanted to help the city “heal” from Martinez’s nasty remarks.
To be honest, his reasoning conflicts with his actions. He didn’t have anything to say as Martinez called the Black son of her colleague a monkey. Who’s to say this wasn’t the first time the three had a call like this?