By CBSLA Staff

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — After several hours of contentious debate that dragged into late Monday night, Huntington Beach City Councilman Tito Ortiz will keep his post as honorary mayor pro tem of the city, at least for now.

Huntington Beach City Councilman Tito Ortiz appears virtually during a city council meeting on Feb. 1, 2021.

The city council was considering a motion to strip Ortiz of his title as deputy mayor. However, it finally decided to table the issue and return to it at a later date.

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“This has probably been the hardest night of my time,” Ortiz said during the virtual meeting.

Ortiz has been under fire because, among other things, he refuses to wear a mask in public and he’s caused some stir ups in the city.

Many who voted for him say they think he’s being targeted because he’s a vocal supporter of former President Donald Trump and a right-wing conservative.

The former MMA fighter also refused to wear a mask at council meetings and so he had not been attending them, although he was online for Monday’s debate for hours listening to his supporters and his critics.

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The public comments lasted for about three hours before the city council moved on to other topics. Some of his supporters also gathered outside Huntington Beach City Hall.

“I’ve received some really good messages from the people of Huntington Beach,” Ortiz said during the meeting. “I love the support that have touched me and my family beyond anything I have ever imagined.”

Supporters of Ortiz outside Huntington Beach City Hall. Feb. 1, 2021. (CBSLA)

The city council was considering a vote of no confidence, proposed by some members who say Ortiz is not doing his job and not worthy of the mayor pro tem title, but ultimately decided to give the newly elected councilman another chance.

“He apologized to the council,” Mayor Kim Carr said. “He had a prepared statement to make. The council decided to give him a second chance.”

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Whether or not he were to lose that honorary title, Ortiz would remain a member of the city council, a position which he won by a landslide.