BELL GARDENS (CBSLA.com) — The Bell Gardens City Council met Monday for the first time since the shooting death of Daniel Crespo, and some leaders publicly spoke about the loss.
During the meeting at City Hall, a moment of silence for Crespo was observed.
“Today was a very difficult day because he’s not sitting here next to me,” said Mayor Pro Tem Priscilla Flores, pointing to Crespo’s empty seat.
Flores said a decision has not been reached on whether the council will appoint a replacement or hold a costly special election.
“A quarter of a million dollars is a lot of money, and we’re not a city that has that type of money just to throw away. But again, that decision hasn’t been made,” Flores told KCAL9’s Serene Branson.
Many on the council have been known to butt heads with Crespo, who died at 45.
Through a translator, one woman called the council members “hypocrites.”
“How could you think that we would believe all of your tears and sadness? It was a wonderful performance,” she said.
“The City Council for many years had many differences, but at the same time and the past recent years, they came together to work together to better the community,” said Albert Bernal, a Bell Gardens resident.
Authorities said Crespo died Sept. 30 after being shot by his wife in his Bell Gardens condo. Before the shooting, authorities said, Crespo and his wife had argued and their son attempted to intervene.
The wife’s attorney claims they were victims of domestic violence.
Council members, though, say they will remember Crespo as their colleague and for the good he did for the city.
“He will be missed,” Flores said. “I’d like to adjourn this meeting in memory of our mayor, Daniel Crespo.”
The council has until the end of November to decide on how to fill Crespo’s seat.