By Jim Tortolano
At a meeting of the Westminster City Council that lasted seven hours from Wednesday night to early Thursday morning, Chi Charlie Nguyen suffered two rebukes, first being officially censured by the city council majority and then being replaced from his position as vice mayor.
The council voted 3-2 – with Mayor Tri Ta and Nguyen opposed – to censure Nguyen, alleging misconduct ranging from using offensive language to being argumentative and disruptive at meetings as well as waging an allegedly dishonest campaign in favor of recall actions against other council members.
“You’re turning everything into propaganda,” said Councilmember Kimberly Ho. “It’s your tactic to get them” – members of city’s large Vietnamese community – “so upset they will be so ready to sign the recall petition.”
Nguyen called Ho’s comments “shameful” and said, “What I say is only the truth and I stand by what I said. Your censure motion will not quiet me.”
The council’s action is primarily symbolic and carries no other penalties.
Later in the meeting the council voted 3-2 to choose Councilmember Carlos Manzo (District 2) to succeed Nguyen as vice mayor for 2022. That position is largely ceremonial; whoever is in that post can preside over council meetings when the mayor is absent. The mayor is directly elected by the public.
The next meeting of the council is Jan. 12.