CALEXICO, CA (13 On Your Side) - The Calexico City Council voted to change the rotation of it's mayor last night - in essence - ousting Martiza Hurtado as mayor.
As 13 On Your Side first reporter - Hurtado recently filed a complaint against three council members claiming verbal and sexual harassment.
The three council members voted to change the change the mayor's term - which previously expired in December to now expire in July.
The change in schedule vacated Hurtado's current appointment.
Some residents called the political power play "obvious retaliation."
After a four hour-long heated and divided meeting - by a 3-2 vote - council members Luis Castro, Joong Kim, and Bill Hodge voted to change the term schedule for city mayor from December to July.
Council member Luis Castro says - changing the mayor's term will now coincide with the start of the city's annual budget.
"At the end of June, we started a new fiscal year. And I believe the new mayor needs to be on top with the new budget. That's the reason."
The vote to change the rotation of the mayor comes one month after Hurtado filed a sexual discrimination complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against members Castro, Kim, and Hodge.
We asked Hodge if the political move was motivated by retaliation.
"It can be interpreted that way, it certainly seems like it, but for me it's not retaliation. And so, I can only speak for myself. There is merit to the arguments that councilman Castro and Councilman Kim said. Whether that's the real motives on their behalf, I can't answer that. I can only tell you why I voted the way I voted. but I will disclose that later – at a later date."
Hurtado, who appeared disappointed, declined comment following the meeting.
In the end, the rotation of mayor was changed, but the dates when the City elections will be held remain the same.
Still, Castro claims he's willing to work with Hurtado - but only if she's willing to work with the others.
"The majority of the people who are here they think that Mr. Castro is against the mayor. No, I'm not, I'm not. I'm not against her. I supported her seven months ago that I mentioned and I will continue to work with her if she let's us work with her."
The council voted Bill Hodge as it's new mayor. Hodge says he will do his best to bring the council together for the betterment of the community.
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