HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — Former MMA fighter and current honorary Huntington Beach mayor pro tem Tito Ortiz is stirring up controversy after declaring that he will not wear a mask in public to attend city council meetings.
The City Council wanted to resume in-person meetings, but the plan hit a snag due to Ortiz saying he won’t wear face coverings.
“I’ll show up and do my job. If I get escorted by the police out for not wearing a mask, that’s your guys’ choice,” Ortiz said. “I don’t want it to come to this. It shouldn’t have to come to this.”
Other City Hall members and local politicians were in disagreement.
“I can’t have a circus here at City Hall,” said Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr.
Instead of returning to in-person gatherings for the city council, remote meetings will continue, following Ortiz’s objection.
The mixed martial arts fighter turned politician in February survived a move to oust him from having the honorary deputy mayor title.
Ortiz was also caught on camera in December during a confrontation at a food distribution event where he was seen handing out food without a face covering.
The event was held on Ocean View School District property, which has strict pandemic safety guidelines.
Ortiz said in Tuesday’s meeting that his views on not wearing masks are representative of thousands of constituents in Huntington Beach. He did not immediately return KCAL9/CBS2’s request for comment.