Mario Hernandez, mayor of San Fernando, California, turned his private life into public business late last month when he stunned residents at a city council meeting by announcing he was having an affair with a city councilwoman.
Mario Hernandez then horrified his constituents in the small town when he ordered police to escort away his wife, who was sitting in the front row, as she stood up to confront her adulterous husband.
San Fernando residents are now demanding the mayor and his lover, Maribel De La Torre, to resign.
San Fernando, a city of just 25,000, has already been plagued by sex scandals among its leaders.
The police chief is being sued by a cadet who claims they had sex in a squad car, a police dispatcher was caught exposing himself in public and another councilwoman carried on an affair with a police sergeant while the city sparred with the police union, the San Fernando Valley Sun reported.
At the end of a November 21 city council meeting, Mayor Mario Hernandez announced that his business had gone under and he had declared bankruptcy.
And then he added: “I’d like to put out there, to squash the rumors, that yes, I have been in a relationship with Councilwoman De La Torre.”
Mayor Mario Hernandez claimed he was separated from his wife.
That’s when Anna Hernandez stood up from the front row: “I’m his wife… we weren’t separated.”
As the woman tried to publicly confront her adulterous husband, Mario Hernandez ordered the city’s acting police chief to step in.
The mayor told the officer that if Anna Hernandez tried to speak again, she must be escorted out, the Sun reported.
The pronouncement drew gasps from the crowd and scorn from fellow council members.
“Ghetto,” responded Councilwoman Sylvia Ballin.
“You’re a joke. Everyone knows you’re a joke, so just be a joke,” taunted Sev Aszkenazy, the publisher of the Sun and the mayor’s brother-in-law.
At the end of the meeting, Mayor Mario Hernandez and Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre quickly retreated from the council chambers.
At a follow-up meeting this week, 150 residents turned up to lambaste their soap opera mayor and call for his resignation.
Maribel De La Torre, who has two children in college, was conspicuously absent from the gathering.
“I’m sorry I voted for you,” Dee Akemon told the mayor.
“You ain’t got no shame at all,” 77-year-old Samuel Beltran said.
Residents said the city has real problems to worry about without being sidetracked by a philandering mayor – a massive budget deficit, a proposal to spend large amounts of city money on a private firefighting force and contract negotiations with the police union.