DOWNEY -- Regular City Council gadfly Armando Herman is threatening a lawsuit against the city of Downey after he was ejected from a recent City Council meeting for cursing.
Herman is a common sight at most – if not all – city meetings, usually sitting in the front row and often getting up to speak on every agenda item, as well as during non-agenda public comment.
Herman’s language is often times fiery and profanity laced, usually aimed at berating and antagonizing the council. While council members usually seem to pay him little to no mind, Herman has sometimes been warned about his cursing.
However, things unraveled at the City Council’s July 11 meeting, which ultimately led to Herman’s removal by the order of Mayor Fernando Vasquez.
During the non-agenda public comment section of the meeting, Herman was referencing an incident that occurred recently at a Los Angeles city meeting when his language, like many times before, became sharp-tongued.
“I’m not gonna say what it said on it, but it definitely said, ‘F--- you,’” said Herman.
Vasquez cut off Herman, and warned him against future use of profanity.
“I’m sorry Herman, this is going to be the first and last time you use any profanity,” said Vasquez. “I don’t care who you’re quoting or what you’re paraphrasing, let that be clear.”
Herman then became combative with Vasquez, accusing him of violating his “less than two minutes of public comment.”
“You rudely, under the Brown Act, interrupted my speech because you found it offensive,” he said.
Herman went on to compare Vasquez to a “typical politician crybaby,” and likened him to “that fat f--- from New Jersey governor” before Vasquez had the City Manager and Downey Police remove him from the room.
Herman left with no incident, but not before claiming his removal was "a violation of Title II Discrimination ADA.”
Herman could also be heard saying “I’ll see you in court."
Before moving on to the next speaker, Vasquez closed the incident by saying that “we have a moral compass in this city council.”
“We have character that counts,” said Vasquez. “I can’t have any minors or any adults listening to this.”
Now nearly two months removed from the incident, Herman has filed a claim for damages with the city. According to the claim, he says that Vasquez and the city council caused “emotional distress, anxiety and violation of civil liberties of First Amendment constitutional rights.”
The City Council has since met in closed session to discuss the potential litigation. City Attorney Yvette M. Abich Garcia confirmed that the claim had been filed but declined to disclose any more information.
This is not the first time Herman has found himself removed from a council chamber.
According to the LA Times, Herman – clad in a swastika-decorated hood and carrying a teddy bear- was discovered in possession of a retractable blade during a LA Public Safety Committee meeting back in June. While Herman claimed he didn’t realize he had the blade on him and surrendered it to authorities without arrest, he was soon removed from the meeting anyways for dancing in the in the aisle and waving the teddy bear around.
Vasquez did not respond to an email seeking comment on the potential lawsuit.