Notice served on same day former Mayor Pro Tem sentenced to prison time - News 11's Wiley Jawhary reports
CALEXICO, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - Calexico's controversial mayor has been served with notice she's being recalled.
Community activist Gilberto Manzanarez served Mayor Rosie Fernandez with the recall papers during Wednesday night's city council meeting. The group "CalexicoNeedsChange" posted video of Manzanarez serving the mayor with the notice:
Manzanarez says he first initiated a recall push against Fernandez after her 2019 arrest for driving under the influence.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) arrested Fernandez for DUI in July of 2019 after an accident on Highway 111. She got hurt, the other driver did not. She pleaded guilty to the charges in January of 2020, and served probation and community service.
Fernandez retained her seat on the city council, and even went on to be named mayor. Calexico does not elect its mayor, just its city council members. Council members then go on to select a mayor, and mayor pro tem, from among their ranks.
Manzanarez says he, and other local activists, have opposed that decision from the beginning. He says he's organized protests against city leadership, and has been a vocal critic of city policies on his own.
Fernandez was served on the same day two of her former political colleagues were sentenced to time in a federal prison.
A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced former Calexico Mayor Pro Tem David Romero, and former commissioner Bruno Suarez-Soto to two years behind bars on bribery charges. Prosecutors say Romero and Suarez-Soto agreed to facilitate a cannabis dispensary license in exchange for $35,000. Both men pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges. They're scheduled to report to prison on June 21.