Central Los Angeles : Petitions Seeking Recall of Bell Gardens Mayor, Councilman Turned In

A campaign seeking to oust Bell Gardens Mayor Maria Chacon and Councilman Ramiro Morales turned in petitions with more than 2,000 signatures Thursday, well above the amount required for a recall election.

The county registrar will have to verify the authenticity of the signatures before deciding whether an election will be held.

“We are pretty proud,” said Laird Halverson, manager of the recall campaign. “Getting in excess of 2,000 signatures--no one has ever done that in Bell Gardens.”

If the signatures prove valid, it would be the second recall in five years for Bell Gardens and extend a long period of internecine political battle in the predominantly Latino city.


An unprecedented 1991 recall ousted four council members and replaced them a year later with the city’s first Latino-majority council.

Chacon helped lead that historic recall, and with Morales was elected to office last year.

The two have fought the recall with their own petitions seeking to nullify recall signatures.

Recall campaigners say Chacon and Morales have proven corrupt and inept; the pair counter by claiming that the effort is motivated by revenge from camps alienated by previous campaigns.