The Calexico City Council met in closed session this past Tuesday and it was decided that the City will defend itself and the parties involved in the complaints done by Mayor Maritza Hurtado.
The complaint is filed with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Mayor Pro Tem Bill Hodge and Councilmember’s Joong Kim and Luis Castro since Hurtado feels there has been sexual discrimination against her since she took over as Mayor last December. Councilman John Moreno was the only one that was not added in the complaint.
The Council met in special session this past Tuesday to try to find a resolution to this problem that would be discussed on closed session. Deputy City Attorney Lisa Foster explained that since three of the council members had a conflict of interest since they were part of the complaint, they needed to create a quorum with a drawing that would determine which of the three council members would attend the closed session.
Councilman Joong Kim said he would not participate because they will not gain anything by being there and said he will not participate and having the Attorney misleading them around the law. City Attorney said that if the five council members don’t participate in the drawing than they will not be able to go to closed session.
Councilman John Moreno asked Kim to participate in this since the community is expecting to them to move forward and leave this in the past and said it will be disservice not to participate.
Mayor Pro Tem Hodge also urged Kim to reconsider in order to come to a solution and move on. Hodge told Kim he respects his position but they need in solve this problem immediately. After some consideration and discussion, Councilman Kim decided to participate but said he would do so in protest. The drawing put Council members Kim, Castro, and Moreno as the quorum in closed session. Mayor Hurtado and Mayor Pro Tem Hodge left the meeting afterwards. Mayor Hurtado clarified that she did not called for this meeting but wanted this resolved.
After roughly 30 minutes in closed session, City Attorney announced that the City will defend itself and the parties involved from the sexual discrimination complaint submitted by Maritza Hurtado.
“I will mediate this process to avoid any more legal spending.” Councilman Moreno said and continued, “I feel we are working towards a spirit of cooperation and I could see that in the majority of the council. We want to put this behind us. Nobody wants to incur more senseless spending but because it’s a complex issue where the city is named in the suit as well, it was advisable to do it this way”