Controversial Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz resigns from City Council

Mayor Pro-Tem Tito Ortiz resigned from the City Council at its meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, June 1.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Controversial Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Tito Ortiz suddenly resigned from the City Council, effective immediately, during Tuesday night’s council meeting at City Hall.

Ortiz issued a statement following public comments. He declined further comment while leaving the premises.

“I ran for this position with hopes to better my community, work with my constituents and give them a voice, making our beautiful city safe and clean,” Ortiz said.

However, he added that he was met with “hostility and judgment” since being sworn in and subject to character assassination through the media.

“As of recently, the attacks against me have started to involve my family, and now I feel that their safety is in danger,” he said. “To put it simply, this job isn’t working for me.”

Ortiz’s two sons were sent home from an Ocean View School District middle school on May 18 for refusing to wear masks.

Ortiz thanked City Atty. Michael Gates, City Councilman Erik Peterson and interim Police Chief Julian Harvey before leaving the dais.

Ortiz, a former professional mixed martial arts fighter and lifelong Huntington Beach resident, was elected to the City Council with the most votes in city history last November, but his roughly six months in office were rife with controversy. His anti-mask stance led to him having to apologize to a local burger restaurant and also led the City Council to continue meeting virtually in late March.

Tuesday’s City Council meeting was the first in-person one for Huntington Beach since December.

The City Council had an item on the agenda to remove him as mayor pro tem on Feb. 1, but the council tabled the item.

Four months later, Ortiz tapped out from the City Council himself.

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