Disgusted Perry steps down as City Council president pro tem
11/9/2011, 10:15 p.m.
Jan Perry, the No. 2-ranking official on the Los Angeles City Council, resigned from her leadership post out of "disgust" with what she described as behind-the-scenes maneuvering over redistricting and the council presidency.
Perry, who represents downtown and part of South Los Angeles and has served as the council's president pro tem since 2009, will remain on the City Council. She laid out her views in a letter sent to her colleagues Thursday night announcing her resignation from the leadership position.
She cited particular concern about the process of replacing Council President Eric Garcetti, who plans to resign from his leadership position to run for mayor. Perry is a longtime Garcetti ally who is now running against him in the 2013 mayor's race.
A handful of council members said they were surprised by Perry's allegations and resignation.
Councilmen Mitch Englander, Bill Rosendahl and Dennis Zine said stepping down is the right thing to do if Perry plans to run for mayor.
Rumors have circulated at City Hall since July that a deal was in the works for Herb Wesson to replace Garcetti as council president. Dennis Zine is the body's third-ranking member. He becomes the acting president pro tem until the council formally votes on a replacement.
Perry suggested that new boundary lines for the council's 15 districts are being redrawn in secret, even though a 21-member commission has been charged with doing that job in public.
"In recent months, I have felt that we have drifted away from the kind of openness and frank discussion that has characterized this council," Perry wrote to her colleagues. "These important issues should be discussed in the public record."
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, she cited "allegations that maps have already been drawn and seen before the executive director position was even filled" for the council's redistricting commission.
In an interview this morning with KNX Newsradio, she added: "I have a mouth. It doesn't need to be shut. I have a First Amendment right to express my disagreement, my disbelief, my disgust with the way that things are going."