Maywood voters will go to the polls today to decide whether to recall three of five City Council members and adopt an ordinance that would boost the qualifications for police chief and discourage nepotism in city hiring practices.
Supporters of the recall drive and Measure M said their campaign stemmed from the council’s decision in February to appoint Al Hutchings, who was convicted of theft and resigned from the Los Angeles Police Department, as the city’s interim police chief. Mayor Felipe Aguirre and council members Veronica Guardado and Ana Rosa Rizo are the targets of the recall effort.
“They voted three to two in favor of Alfred Hutchings,” said Ramon Medina, 49, who hopes to unseat Aguirre in today’s election. The auto repair shop owner said he voted for Aguirre when he first ran for office in 2005.
But after Hutchings’ appointment, Medina said, he felt the mayor was not acting in the best interest of the city.
Two weeks after Hutchings’ appointment, the City Council voted unanimously to appoint Maywood Police Cmdr. Frank Hauptmann as interim chief.
But senior Assistant Atty. Gen. Louis Verdugo said at the time that in selecting Hutchings, Maywood may have violated state and city legal codes regarding background checks and qualifications for those serving as chief of police.
The proposed ordinance would also amend the municipal code by adding a chapter titled “Nepotism.” It would require that “no public official shall appoint, employ or participate in the hiring, employment decision or the contracting of any person, employee or contractor that is an immediate family member.”