HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz resigned from his position on the city council Tuesday, effective immediately.
Wednesday night, Barbara Delgleize was voted and sworn in as new Mayor Pro Tem, replacing Ortiz.
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“I ran for this position with hopes to better my community, work on my constituents and give them a voice, making our beautiful city safe and clean and to ensure a bright future for my children,” he said. “I was under a notion that I was in a bipartisan position and that we all had a common goal that our city and our constituents could have.”
Ortiz said from his first day on the council he was met with “hostility and judgement,” and was subject to “character assassination each and every week.”
Ortiz said he was resigning over concerns for the continued safety of his family, but he said he would continue to be a resident of Huntington Beach.
“To put it simply, this job isn’t working for me,” he said.
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The resignation came as a surprise to Mayor Kim Carr of Huntington Beach.
“I think he had a very steep learning curve and it was really up to him to take that on, get educated, and reach out to people,” Carr said.
The former mixed martial arts fighter has come under fire a number of times since his election last November, most recently after a video of his girlfriend, Amber Miller, saying they were removing Ortiz’s sons from in-person learning over mask mandates went viral.
Ortiz has been outspoken about his anti-mask views, refusing to wear them at city council meetings, surviving an attempt to oust him as mayor pro tem, and attending a food distribution event where he was caught on camera confronting a person who asked why he was not wearing a face mask.
He was also caught in a scandal after he applied for unemployment benefits despite being actively employed by the city of Huntington Beach at the time.
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The Huntington Beach City Council is expected to hold a special meeting Wednesday to choose a new mayor pro tem from its current members. In the coming weeks, the council will also begin discussing the timeline for filling Ortiz’s vacated seat.