Former Murrieta Mayor Harry Ramos left under a dark cloud after losing his re-election bid in 2016. Just one year prior, he’d been stripped of his mayoral title. He’d been accused of sexually assaulting a woman at a Chamber of Commerce mixer -- an allegation that cost the city $99,000 and undoubtedly contributed to his re-election loss. Now, he’s hoping constituents will put the recent past behind them and give him another shot at City Hall.
Ramos is one of four candidates running for the District 2 council seat this November. It is the first time Murrieta will hold district-based elections for city council.
Ramos continues to insist that the sexual assault claims were untrue and part of a “political attack to smear my name.” But an 81-page investigative report concluded otherwise. While prosecutors declined to press charges, the city found that Ramos had used his position of power to commit a series of misdeeds “including making inappropriate advances on women.”
Ramos’ opponents have chosen not to comment on the sexual harassment claims, but at least one sitting councilman has boldly stated that Ramos’ run is a bad idea.
“When you see the results of the last election in 2016, when you see the disappointing manner in which he has conducted himself, I was shocked to see that he wanted to try and be back,” said Randon Lane as quoted in The Press-Enterprise.
“Quite frankly, I don’t think the citizens of Murrieta will allow him to come back into service especially since he has represented the city so poorly and has not been a good steward of the city’s taxpayer money,” he added.
Ramos chooses instead to focus on what he will bring to the table if allowed to take a seat on the city council again. He lists homelessness, public safety, and fiscal prudence among his top priorities. Can voters see past the rest?