Moreno Valley Appoints New Council Member Despite City Attorney’s Warning

The Moreno Valley City Council has appointed one of its former members to the District 1 seat, which was left vacant after the death of Mayor Pro Tem Victoria Baca earlier this month. The council did so against the advice of its own city attorney, who warned the move could open the city up to a lawsuit.

The appointment of LaDonna Jempson was not on the Tuesday, Oct. 19 agenda. “That would probably be a Brown Act violation,” Interim City Attorney Steve Quintanilla warned.

Only two members of the council were present: Dave Marquez and Ulises Cabrera. Both of them voted to appoint. Mayor Yxstian Gutierrez was absent and District 2 is currently vacant following the death of another council member, Carla Thornton.

Jempson is a controversial figure in Moreno Valley politics. She faced calls to resign from her District 5 seat several years ago after she revealed she had previously been convicted of embezzlement. She ran unsuccessfully for District 1 in 2020.

Read more at the Press-Enterprise.