A recall effort against Santa Ana City Councilmember Jessie Lopez will move forward following a special meeting of the City Council Monday night.
The meeting was called after the Orange County Registrar of Voters discovered that an outdated district map had been used during the recall process, potentially invalidating hundreds of signatures. Additionally, 1,200 residents who should have received a mail-in ballot for the election did not receive one.
Despite these concerns, the council deadlocked Monday after councilmembers Phil Bacerra, David Penaloza and Mayor Valerie Amezcua declined to halt the recall election. Those three members are backed by the city’s powerful police union, which is funding the recall effort against Lopez.
“It is an illegal election that they are now supporting and putting their name behind, just because of the stronghold that I do believe special interests have on these city council members,” said Lopez, who remained sidelined during Monday’s discussion.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Councilmember Thai Viet Phan, another critic of the union.
Residents who attended the meeting were each given just one minute for public comment. Many of them blasted the recall as illegal and corrupt.
If the recall against Lopez succeeds on Nov. 14, it would be the second time the police union has pushed one of its critics off the dais. In 2020, Ceci Iglesias was successfully recalled after questioning the organization’s outsized influence in city affairs.
Read more at Voice of OC.