City Councilman-Elect Kevin de León talked to Boyle Heights Beat about suspended Councilman Jose Huizar, the current lack of representation in Council District 14, and whether de León could take over the Council seat early.
"I have made it very clear that I’m ready to take over and roll up my sleeves," de León said, in part 1 of a wide-ranging interview. But de León said the legal situation has be clear. "A suspension is just that, a suspension, not a termination. You can’t have two council members functioning in the same role. in the same seat, simultaneously."
Huizar was charged last month with allegedly conspiring to accept roughly $1.5 million in bribes from developers. The Council suspended him shortly after that - but Huizar had long been losing the ability to do his job.
"It does prove to be very awkward for the constituents of CD 14," de León said, "because as of right now they have no political representation. Although legally [Huizar] is the City Council member for CD 14."
De León won the March 3 primary election with nearly 53% of the votes, thereby avoiding a November runoff. Barring any changes in the current situation, however, he cannot take office until Dec. 13.