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Serrano abruptly resigns from Santa Fe Springs City Council; Admits wrongdoing, asks for ‘forgiveness’

Serrano Resigns

Santa Fe Springs City Councilman Joseph Serrano fights back tears during resignation address, and exits city hall to an awaiting vehicle. Randy Economy LCCN Photos

By Brian Hews
Embattled Santa Fe Springs City Councilman Joseph Serrano, Sr. resigned from office Thursday night before a stunned and silent standing room only crowd.
In a tearful announcement during the city council meeting, Serrano said that he would be leaving office effective July 31st.
Serrano has agreed to plead guilty in connection to a major federal bribery case that involves the accepting thousands of dollars in cash bribes from the operator of a marijuana dispensary doing business in the tiny industrial community.
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper was the only media outlet to speak to Serrano immediately after resigning. “I am sorry for what happened. I am dealing with it. This is devastating for me and my family,” Serrano told LCCN.
Serrano confirmed that he found out about the indictment “sometime last week.”
Serrano, dressed in a white t-shirt, wearing a gray sports coat with his shoulder length hair gray hair slicked back, said that he could not talked about the “specifics” of his legal case, “due to terms of the plea agreement with the US Attorney’s Office.”
“By now many of you know about my situation with the US Attorney’s Office,” he said.
“My intentions were to never harm the residents and city of Santa Fe Springs for which I love so much,” Serrano said.
After choking back tears, Serrano said “this is a wonderful community that I have been proud to call my home for more than 60 years.”
“I’m saddened, embarrassed, and regretful, and angry at myself. I know that I must take responsibility for my actions,” Serrano said. “It has been a privilege and honor to serve this community for the past nine years. In my heart of heart I had hoped to do so for many years to come, but now I can only ask for your forgiveness.”
“I will look to the people who have supported me as a councilman for so many years and personal support as I enter the most challenging chapter of my life. I want to make it clear that the allegations that have been leveled against me are as a result of my doings, and mine alone,” he said.
“Unfortunately some will draw comparisons to the recent events in city of Cudahy. I deeply regret my actions and except responsibility.”
Serrano then stressed “please note that my colleagues on the city council and the city staff will always work to serve the people of this community in a matter that is beyond reproach,” he said.
Serrano immediately left the dais and walked into the offices of the city manager where he paused in an attempt to regain his composure. He then entered the lobby at City Hall and was greeted by well wishers, members of the Whittier Police Department, fire fighters, friends and family members.
Norwalk Mayor Pro-Tem Luigi Vernola and Councilman Mike Mendez also embraced Serrano in an emotional moment right before exiting city hall with his wife to an awaiting vehicle and drove away avoiding questions from other members of the media who followed him outside.
One longtime resident Jimmy Mendoza said it was “a sad day in the history of Santa Fe Springs.” “I am in a state of shock,” Mendoza told LCCN. The 37-year resident of the community, Mendoza said that there are “way too many pot shops in Santa Fe Springs, and they are becoming like the local corner candy store,” Mendoza said.

Copyright. Los Cerritos Community Newspaper. All Rights Reserved.

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  • American Pimp says:

    “I deeply regret my actions and except responsibility.”

    Except? Excpet? I think you meant “accept.” The unfortunate dumbing down of the media has now hit the reporters who actually write the news.

    Stop taking the English language for granted! Apparently Mr. Economy needs to stop being economical with his knowledge of English.

  • Chewy says:

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Did this criminal get standing ovation from audience last night .did the people of SFS get the memo that this guy disgraced their city .

  • Hope says:

    Santa Fe Springs is my home, I’ve grown up here and plan on starting and raising my family here. Mr. Serrano is a man , a man who made a mistake. I forgive him and accept his apologies he has done so much good for our community that I refuse to let this mistake erase all the good he has done. People who don’t know our city, who don’t see what we see might not understand, but I am grateful and blessed to get to call this place my home.

  • Luis S. Garcia says:

    Accepting responsibility for our actions whether we are an elected official or an citizen begins the process to healing the self, the family, and the greater community as a whole.

    If there is any disgrace present, it’s folks who hide behind pseudonyms and spew vitriolic comments based on ignorance.

    I accept Joseph Serrano’s apologies and will be there to support him through this chapter in his life. For any Christian out there, I imagine your call to faith requires understanding the power of forgiveness.

    • Debbie says:

      Amen to that, we are not here to judge we all make mistakes, and god will deal with this, god bless joe and his family,

  • Chewy says:

    He is sorry for sure, sorry he got caught . Who would you forgive next? Madoff

  • Monica Soto says:

    Mr. Serrano was probably buddies with the crooked management at SEAACA too. Those poor animals.

  • Rodolfo Cardona says:

    Mr. Luis S. Garcia, what else can a family member say about a deflocked city council member. If it was anyone one else but your family, I can bet my last dollar that you would be all over that individual for their greediness, corruption and thievry of trust. Mr. Serrano deserves more then the three years he is currently facing just like his counterpart in Bell, Joe Rizszo.

    • luis garcia says:

      Mr. Cardona,

      I dont know who you are but this has nothing to do with Joe being a family member. Rather its about community forgiveness when a person takes accountability. A road to redemption. I imagine there may be no idea of this in your immediate awareness rather the common vindictive ways that perpetuates mainstream society.

  • julie says:

    He is my family and people should always be forgiven for there mistakes in life right?