An effort to recall a Perris City Councilman charged in connection with possession of methamphetamines got underway Tuesday night.
Organizers served an intent to recall notification to Julio Rodriguez at the Perris City Council meeting.
Rodriguez, 28, faces charges stemming from his arrest at a Perris motel in June.
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According to an arrest warrant obtained by NBC4, Rodriguez allegedly met a male friend and another man at a Walmart parking lot. He is accused of selling a small amount of meth to those men in exchange for a $210 gift card. He also allegedly offered to get the men high and have sex with them at the motel.
Rodriguez told NBC4 it was "a lapse in judgment."
Rodriguez later apologized during a City Council meeting, saying he would fight the felony drug charges and any efforts to recall him.
City leaders can't fire Rodriguez because he hasn't been convicted. They can only take away his committee powers, which they have already done.
Although they have trimmed his influence, Rodriguez is able to vote and exercise his power as a councilman, Mayor Daryl Busch said.
Longtime Perris resident and recall organizer Michael Weir says it's not right that taxpayers must continue to pay Rodriguez to be on the City Council, which includes a stipend of $800 per month, plus medical benefits.
"He's the one who got caught, he's the one under the influence, he's the one who had the meth," Weir said.
Weir is hoping to gather the 5,000 signatures needed for a recall election.
Attempts to reach Rodriguez's attorney for comment were unsuccessful.