The Democratic Club of Moreno Valley has launched a recall petition against a Moreno Valley School Board member who was jailed on felony charges including rape, pimping and pandering involving six victims – including two underage girls.
Members of the group plan to deliver a copy of the recall notice on Tuesday to board member Mike Luis Rios who’s in a Banning jail.
If the group succeeds in getting 15 percent of the required 20,000 signatures, voters in the November election could decide his fate on the school board.
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“Voters will have an opportunity to do a do-over, to decide whether Mr. Rios is actually the man they want to put in office to represent 30,000 children in our school district,” said Ruthee Goldkorn, a 23-year Moreno Valley resident who launched the petition drive.
The news comes as recall supporters plan to picket a scheduled school board meeting on Tuesday at which school officials could seek a restraining order and ask for his resignation. By law, the panel cannot fire a board member who has not been convicted of a crime.
“Even though he’s not there, we’re asking that he resign,” said Moreno Valley blogger and activist Gordon Tucker, who once worked with Rios during a failed Moreno Valley City Council bid.
A call to the office of Gary Windom, the Riverside County public defender, which is representing Rios, was not returned.
Rios told the Riverside Press-Enterprise from jail last week that the charges against him were false and that unidentified people were engaging in “a political assassination on me.”
Rios pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple felony charges including rape and pimping. He was arrested April 4 during a traffic stop near his Moreno Valley home.
In the case, prosecutors allege that three adult women worked for Rios as prostitutes.
Prosecutors say Rios allegedly tried to get four women and two girls to work for him as prostitutes and that three adult women did. He told at least one woman that he was a member of the Moreno Valley School Board and asked her if she needed a job, prosecutors allege.
Another woman answered an Internet ad for a job. Rios offered one of the juvenile girls the use of his Hummer if she would work for him, officials said.
He met the other juvenile through an Internet ad she had placed for prostitution and Rios offered her the use of his vehicle and his house if she would work for him.
Rios also faces two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of dissuading a witness in connection with a shooting in February.
He’s accused of firing a gun at two men outside his house in February after a bar fight.
Neither victim was shot.
Rios posted bail in that case and a felony settlement conference is scheduled for April 29.