The Los Angeles City Council this week did not consider the appointment of Heather Hutt to serve as interim council member for the 10th District, with the item failing to receive the 10 votes required for a public hearing.
Council President Nury Martinez filed a motion on Aug. 26 proposing the appointment of Hutt, who has been serving as the district’s non-voting caretaker and chief of staff for Herb Wesson. Wesson was appointed interim council member earlier this year to replace indicted Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, but he resigned last week.
Five council members–Bob Blumenfield, Marqueece Harris-Dawson, Mike Bonin, Nithya Raman and Monica Rodriguez–voted against considering Hutt, whose nomination will be referred to the Rules, Elections and Intergovernmental Relations Committee for further discussion.
Harris-Dawson raised an objection to Hutt’s nomination being considered at the start of Tuesday’s meeting, seeking to delay the consideration because he believed the council was skipping forward in the process. Harris-Dawson said rushing the process to appoint Hutt would do a disservice to her, calling Hutt’s reputation and track record “sterling.”
That forced the council to take a vote on whether to consider the appointment.
This predicament is unique because Ridley-Thomas could still return to the council if he is acquitted. Ridley-Thomas was suspended from the council last October, following his federal indictment on corruption charges.
Martinez’s motion, seconded by four council members, Kevin de León, Gil Cedillo, Mitch O’Farrell and Paul Koretz, touted Hutt’s background as a state director for then-Sen. Kamala Harris and the immediate need for District 10 to have a voting council member. Hutt would serve through the end of Ridley-Thomas’ term, unless he is acquitted or the charges against him are dismissed.
Since July 19, the district, which stretches from Koreatown to Leimert Park in South Los Angeles, has not had voting representation on the council because caretakers cannot act as voting members.
Despite Martinez urging her colleagues to support consideration of Hutt ahead of the vote, she came up one vote shy.
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