Omar Navarro Resigns from Torrance Traffic Commission after Heated Clash with Defend Movement

Congressional candidate Omar Navarro has resigned from his position as a Traffic Commissioner after a heated clash with members of the Defend Movement that had reached a fever pitch. Navarro announced his decision via an official statement released on his Facebook page that read, in part, as follows:

“Recently, I was made aware of a partisan political effort to oust me from the Torrance Traffic Commission ... As a resident of Torrance for over 14 years and graduate of West Torrance High School, it has been a great privilege and honor to serve our community. Traffic is something that effects us all equally, no matter our politics or socio-economic status. While I remain focused on defeating corrupt career politician Maxine Waters, I will not let radical political activists disrupt the important work of the Torrance Traffic Commission. As such, I am resigning from the commission, effective immediately. 

Navarro’s resignation came shortly after the Torrance City Council, by a 5 to 2 vote, took the initial step to remove him from office. Based on that vote, the Council was slated to officially determine his fate at an upcoming meeting.

Mayor Furey had embraced Navarro’s critics and publicly denounced him at a recent meeting. Furey followed that action by announcing on Facebook last Friday that he had sent an official letter to all LA County mayors apologizing for any disruptive behavior caused by Navarro or other activists identifying themselves as residents of Torrance.

Emboldened by that support from Furey, Silvia Merlos and several other members of the Defend Movement, appeared before the City Council last Tuesday night demanding that Navarro be removed from his commissioner role. Merlos backed off a prior claim that Navarro had peppered sprayed a child, but did continue to insist Navarro was complicit in the act and that Navarro’s conduct warranted removal from his official role representing Torrance. The incident in question, caught on video, shows Navarro riding in the back of a vehicle as a passenger released a canister of pepper spray into a threatening crowd of activists that had followed the group to their car.

Navarro appeared at the Council meeting on Tuesday to confront the accusations. During his comments, he blasted the Mayor for siding with a group that had made degrading accusations against himself and his wife that amounted to slander. Navarro also called Mayor Furey a pawn of Maxine Waters and claimed that he would give $1000 to anyone that would challenge the mayor in his next election.

Navarro’s official resignation statement also included a lengthy campaign video that chronicled many of his recent encounters and that attempted to refute many of the accusations hurled against him and other conservative activists.    

The Defend Movement posted the news to their Facebook page hailing it a victory for their cause. One commentator posted: 

After all the barking this buffoon did here in Cudahy…it only took 2 visits from DEFEND MOVEMENT to put enough pressure on his weak ass to RESIGN as traffic commissioner before getting FIRED by council vote. Classic Republican MO. Anyone else want to mess with Cudahy??? Try it. See what happens.  

Merlos was more diplomatic adding that:

Omar Navarro’s resignation before this matter was fully investigated and evaluated by the Torrance city council demonstrates that he is aware that his actions toward our communities are hurtful and fueled by racist ideologies. What we are most grateful for in all of this is not Omar’s resignation, but rather the fact that the mayor of Torrance and the rest of the city council listened to our concerns, took responsibility for the actions of their residents and their traffic commissioner, and took measures to further investigate the matter.

The issue exposed some tension among the Council as Republican Councilmembers Ashcraft and Herring dissented to the vote taking action against Navarro while Griffiths voted in favor but added that his vote was not necessarily a reflection of how he would vote once they were able to obtain more evidence. 

The Mayor also sharply interrupted Herring while Herring was briefly explaining his dissenting opinion. Herring was clearly miffed by the exchange explaining his feelings shortly thereafter by stating, “Your honorable mayor and I say honorable mayor because I will always respect the office of the mayor…I felt like I was rudely disrespected a few minutes ago.”

Herring then quickly exited the room after the meeting was adjourned not speaking to any of his colleagues.

8 comments

  • Guest

    The 5 people that voted Yes, all need to go. How can you vote without having one iota of proof. Shame on all of you, but Karma is a bitch and a few of you are up for re-election!!! We won’t forget.

  • Anonymous

    Torrance City Council meetings under Furey have become an embarrassment that plays out each week like a Jerry Springer show. The people he has brought in to demonstrateare disgusting morons… and then the Mayor takes photos with them after his show is over. Furey appears most comfortable among this slime, but Torrance is better than any of this crap.

  • Linda Gottshall-Sayed

    I agree that this City has headed down the sewer. It has been heading that way ever since we learned that the Mayor broke the law by breaking campaign finance laws with McCormick Ambulance and then casting the swing vote to give them our City’s lucrative contract. It took weeks for our city council to even come to a consensus to hold a hearing on removing the mayor’s campaign manager (Pat Furey, Jr.) and the requests came to our council in writing and orally by CITIZENS OF THIS CITY … CITIZENS WHO PAY PROPERTY TAXES IN THIS CITY. Residents requested the mayor’s resignation based on his ADMISSION that he VIOLATED campaign finance laws in this state. Not even a censure of the mayor was made by our council.

    How odd that it takes the actions of only one clown and a one evening of complaints by NON RESIDENTS for this council to agree to hold a hearing regarding Mr. Navarro (and his culpability, if any, and potential removal from his Traffic Commission seat). I suppose it has something to do with the fact that citizen requests for City Council action regarding the Furey family are harder for the council to “hear”? Well, that most certain IS transparent, isn’t it?

  • Arthur J Plourde

    Hello All: Well here we go again!!! Remember the release of myself for having done nothing at all while a comissioner for this city appointed to “The Library Comission”, my tenure only made it 3 months with this crooked bunch of Criminals seated in our chairs in this city! While the Brown Act was clearly violated no not even the jackass city Attorney would address this as an issue although it did take place and there are and were E mails to prove it? Now I ask you all what is going to happen next, with all the disrespect being shown and driven by a derranged Mayor Furey at almost every meeting that he presides at, this city is in clear decay. Not only this but also the City Attorney whom the taxpayers pay his outrageous salary that amounts to more than the Attorney General of the United States of America, along with another outrageous salary of almost 1/2 million for a City Manager who can’t even discern the constitution and Rights, Freedoms, and Liberties guaranteed to citizens of any community by it, along with his poor management skills, he still hangs on and serves at the Mayors pleasure. The Mayor of this city needs to sanctioned by the County Board of Supervisors, and also charged with civil disobediance to election mandates and he needs to be held accountable for his every action that has violated the tenets of good, and faithful service to the citizens of Torrance. It is long overdue for charges to brought against the Mayor, who thinks he is indispensable. This man needs to go and go now! Why when he hauled me into his office early on after he received verbal not written complaints from two people who favor his own D party themselves he didn’t even investigate no he called me in and said the Constitution of the State of CA when I pointed to it in Section 3, paragraph 6 clearly mandates what should be and is not being done in this state today and when I asked about this, his remark was the Constitution has been changed, without even knowing anything about what I was referring to. I felt before I appeared his mind was already made up that I was guilty of somethng and he was going to make an issue out it. The head Librarian of the Torrance Library and the City Manager and probably more had some type of meeting afrter I had been in the Mayors office on St Patricks day. The reason I say this is because that week on the next Council meeting agenda was an additonal item added concerning the dismissal of myself from my post as a comissioner on the Library Comission. From the time I was appointed till the time I was removed not for cause was less than 3 months total. I know this was politically motivated and I know the parties involved were cronies who love the Mayor even though he has never been a shining symbol for the city of Torrance. My hat is off to Omar and I say the Mayor should be censured for the disrespect of his Council member Harrington, who is a retired Colonel in the USAF. How dare Furey show such disrespect!!! He must be Impeached and Removed! I will stand for that action! Good luck to Omar and I pray he replaces the Witch Waters. I invite all Torrance citizens to speak up on this matter. I have been a Torrance resident for more than 30 yrs and I have never seen such disgraceful action out of the Council Chambers at a public assembly!

  • I wish that Omar had not resigned.

    It gives a victory, however hollow or pyhrric, to this Defend Movement.

    I still believe that Furey has more than shot himself in the foot with this brazen decision to join forces with these Brown Supremacists.

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