CHICAGO - Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa (35th) announced Monday he is stepping down from his role as City Council floor leader and zoning committee chair after he allegedly grabbed an alderwoman during last week's meeting over Chicago's sanctuary status.
Ramirez-Rosa came under fire by fellow aldermen, community activists and others after the aborted council meeting Thursday where he allegedly grabbed and tried to restrain Ald. Emma Mitts (37th) from entering council chambers before a heated vote.
"Tensions were high at a chaotic meeting, and I let that get the best of me, leading me to act in a way unbecoming of a leader," Ramirez-Rosa said in a statement. "I sincerely apologize to my colleague, Alderwoman Emma Mitts, for the disrespectful interaction outside of Council Chambers."
Ald. Raymond Lopez (26th) was at the City Council meeting Thursday and said he had to help Mitts break free from Ramirez-Rosa in order to enter the chambers and achieve a quorum of 26 members necessary to hold the meeting.
Lopez said Ramirez-Rosa also discouraged other City Council members from attending the meeting through text messages.
"He lied to members," Lopez said. "He assaulted members and he threatened members as zoning committee chairman, saying that if you participate or if you vote for this measure, I am going to withhold every zoning ordinance in your ward as long as I'm chairman. Those are threats. That's extortion and to simply say he could walk away on his own terms is not enough. He needs to be gone from City Council …."
Ramirez-Rosa said in a statement that he would be stepping down from his position of Floor leader because he had lost the confidence of his colleagues. He will also resign from his role as chair of the Committee on Zoning, Landmarks, and Building Standards effective Dec. 1.
"I feel awful about everything that happened," his statement read. "I have reached out to my colleagues to apologize directly and seek to make amends. I made mistakes, and I learned valuable lessons. I take full responsibility for what I've done."
Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement, saying he and Ramirez-Rosa agreed over the weekend that the alderman should step down.
"Alderwoman Mitts is a venerable leader and woman of abiding faith, who is committed to public service and the principles of accountability and mercy," the statement read. "Alderman Ramirez-Rosa has acknowledged his transgressions, apologized to his colleagues and committed himself to rebuilding trust."
This story is developing. Check back for updates.