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San Fernando mayor addresses sex scandal at council meeting

December 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
Angry residents confronted the mayor of San Fernando on Monday night, days after he admitted he was romantically involved with a councilwoman.

"In September, I spoke to my estranged wife and my children about my new relationship," Mayor Mario Hernandez told a packed council chamber. "I have always remained honest and truthful to my family."

Residents held signs that said "Resign Now."

"You know what mayor? You ain't got no shame at all," said San Fernando resident Samuel Arenas. "I don't have no respect for you."

The mayor stunned the audience at a Nov. 21 city council meeting when he admitted to an affair with Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre.

According to the San Fernando Sun, Hernandez's wife stood up and said they weren't separated when he and De La Torre began their relationship. The newspaper reporter Hernandez had her escorted from the meeting.

The mayor claims they separated in June.

De La Torre did not attend the meeting Monday.

The mayor wasn't the only one under attack Monday. Councilwoman Brenda Esqueda was also questioned about a romantic relationship with a San Fernando Police Department officer.

"If you were having a relationship with a police officer, is it not a conflict of interest that you're evening voting on any issues whatsoever?" said one resident.

Residents said the scandal is distracting from important issues regarding the city's police and fire departments.

"It's really very disturbing that he would bring this to the council and expose the community members and the children that were here to his tawdry little affair," said resident Linda Campenalla-Jauron.


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