Ramirez-Rosa allegedly tried to block Ald. Emma Mitts from entering floor, threatened 2 other alders not to do their jobs
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Tuesday was another chaotic day in City Hall as a city council committee meeting had to recess due to disruptions.
Alderwoman Emma Mitts made her first public statement at the meeting following last week's incident in which Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa was accused of grabbing her and preventing her from entering Council chambers.
Before the meeting, Alderman Ramirez-Rosa was seen walking toward Alderwoman Mitts and giving her a hug.
Mitts was given the floor to talk about the incident, which she said left her shaking.
"He said you know you shouldn't be here, I said, well why are you bothering me, he says because the rest of your colleagues are idiots," she described.
Mitts recounted how Ramirez Rosa physically blocked her from entering council chambers for a roll call vote, saying it reminded her of when she was a little girl in the South.
"Thank you, you did apologize this morning to me, the first time we talked," she told Ramirez Rosa, "and I will tell you this, actions always speak louder than words.
Ramirez-Rosa then offered what appeared to be a heartfelt public apology to her and the entire council.
"I sincerely apologize to you, my colleague Emma Mitts, for the disrespectful interaction we had outside council chambers and for my overzealous attempts throughout the day, for my attempts to convince you not to be part of the quorum," he said.
An earlier City Council Rules Committee meeting had to be recessed after disruptions from the crowd. That meeting will be continued on Thursday.
The disruptions came after a substitute ballot referendum measure on migrants was introduced to bump out the Sanctuary City referendum pushed by Aldermen Anthony Beale and Ray Lopez.
Mitts addressed that disruption later in the full council meeting as well.
"I saw this coming, but until we get some law and order here and start respecting each other, then we'll be having even more darker days," she said.
Alderman Ramirez-Rosa stepped down from his role as the mayor's floor leader Monday and his committee chair position amid the accusations.
But just when it appeared the council was perhaps ready to move on, some alders called for Ramirez Rosa to be formally censured, setting off debate.
"There is no acceptance of responsibility, but an acceptance of being caught," accused Ald. Lopez.
"I think censure is out of line, and can cause more harm than healing," said 26th ward Ald. Jessie Fuentes.
The vote to censure Ramirez Rosa failed by one vote. Mitts was among those who voted no, saying she didn't want to prolong the division in the city council, and that she didn't want to be the judge and jury on this matter.
Alderman Lopez was among those calling for Ramirez-Rosa to resign while other Chicagoans believe he should be reinstated.
The City Council Black Caucus issued a statement Tuesday saying, "While the last several days have been both challenging and extremely emotional for our caucus, we are well pleased and grateful with the tone, temperament, and response from Mayor Johnson in bringing closure to this issue involving our beloved and well-respected colleague, Alderwoman Emma Mitts.
"In addition, as a caucus we stand firm in our condemnation of Alderman Ramirez-Rosa's actions of bullying, physical and verbal harassment against Alderwoman Mitts.
"While this unfortunate event was disheartening and unwarranted, it should serve as a teaching moment for the entire Chicago City council in that decorum, respect, and the ability to professionally agree to disagree should be at the forefront of how we approach our duties and responsibilities as public servants."