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EXCLUSIVE: Calexico mayor served with recall notice

Courtesy: City of Calexico

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.

Decision 2022 / Imperial County / Local News / Local Politics / Top Stories
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Lisa Sturgis

Lisa Sturgis returned to KYMA as its Digital Content Director in Septemter of 2019, but she and her family have a long history in the Desert Southwest.

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Cody Lee

Cody Lee joined 13 On Your Side and KYMA News 11 in March 2020, but he’s no stranger to Arizona. He grew up in the Phoenix area and enjoys everything Arizona has to offer.

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Wiley Jawhary

Wiley Jawhary is from Orange County California. He joined KYMA/KSWT in April of 2021.

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