LA County Federation of Labor president resigns after racist conversation with LA councilmembers

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022
LA County labor leader resigns amid fallout over leaked audio
Ron Herrera, the president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor, resigned after a leaked audio recording revealed he was involved in a racist conversation with three city councilmembers.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Ron Herrera, the president of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, resigned Monday after a leaked audio recording revealed he was involved in a racist conversation with L.A. City Councilmembers Nury Martinez, Kevin de León and Gil Cedillo.

Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, head of the California Labor Federation, confirmed to Eyewitness News that Herrera offered his resignation to the federation's executive board.

On the recording, Herrera expressed the need for caution in handling a district held by Mark Ridley-Thomas, who had been indicted on federal corruption charges. He warned that the Black community could look at it as "a hostile takeover."

"Because politically, they're going to come after us," Herrera said on the recording.

RELATED: Nury Martinez resigns as president of LA City Council following leaked audio of racist remarks

Nury Martinez has resigned as president of the Los Angeles City Council 24 hours after a leaked audio recording revealed her and Councilman Kevin de León making racist comments.

The leaked audio from an October 2021 conversation became public Sunday when an anonymous user posted it on Reddit. In it, Martinez was heard referring to Councilman Mike Bonin's Black son by a racist slur in Spanish and referring to his misbehavior during a parade by remarking "This kid needs a beatdown."

De León compared Bonin's handling of his son at the parade to "when Nury brings her little yard bag or the Louis Vuitton bag."

Martinez resigned as president of the City Council Monday morning. Her resignation statement did not say she would resign her council seat.

The remarks were made during a conversation between Herrera, De León, Martinez and Cedillo about redrawing council district boundaries.

The recording's content rocked the political establishment just weeks before elections for the mayor's office and several council seats.

WATCH | LA civil rights, religious leaders say apologies on racist remarks 'not enough'

"They're sitting in the back room telling monkey jokes," said Rev. John Cager with the AME Ministerial Alliance. "L.A. is better than that, and when we look at a way forward for Los Angeles. We cannot play the politics of racial division. We need to find ways to work together to make L.A. better."

Bonin and his husband, Sean Arian, were part of a growing chorus calling for the resignations of Martinez and two other council members who were involved.

"Today, I'm even angrier than I was yesterday. I'm quaking with anger," Bonin said in an interview with Tavis Smiley. "It's everything that is ugly and broken in politics, and they all must resign."

"The conduct of my colleagues is totally disrespectful, totally uncalled for and we're calling for their resignation," City Councilman Curren Price said at a candlelight vigil held outside City Hall Monday night.

Councilmember Monica Rodriguez announced she would be introducing a motion Tuesday calling for the election of a new council president.

"We have so much work to do to heal the communities that have been affected," Rodriguez tweeted.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.