A city councilman from a small Southern California city was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of meth and meth possession, officials said on Tuesday.
The case broke Tuesday about 7:30 a.m. when officers from the Perris Police Department responded to a theft call at the Red Lion Inn hotel in the 500 block of Redlands Boulevard, police said.
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According to hotel staff, Perris City Councilman Julio Rodriguez had gone to the lobby and asked hotel staff to call police about a theft. The staff told him they couldn't do that, so Rodriguez called instead.
During the course of the theft investigation, Rodriguez, "displayed symptoms consistent with being under the influence of a controlled substance," police said in a statement.
Rodriguez, pictured below, was arrested on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance.
Rodriguez, 28, was booked into jail on charges of possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and being under the influence of a controlled substance.
A person inside Rodriguez's home, believed to be a family member, said "he doesn't live here right now, so we don’t know nothing," when asked about the alleged incident.
Rodriguez had made the news years ago when he was elected to the Perris City Council on a campaign that spent only $500. Since then, he sat in as the youngest member of the council.
"(The arrest) makes us look even worse," a Perris resident said.
Perris city leaders said they were shocked by the news and they were not going to rush to judgment.
"How can you lead if you can't demonstrate that by the way you live, the way you act," Councilman Mark Yarbrough said.
It was not immediately clear whether Rodriguez had a lawyer. If Rodriguez is convicted of a felony, he could lose his city council seat.