Less than a year after being elected to city council in Huntington Beach, Calif., Mixed martial arts veteran Tito Ortiz abruptly resigned, complaining of “hostility and judgment.” Ortiz made his announcement at a city council meeting on Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Times, the first face-to-face board meeting since December. It was the culmination of eight months of controversy for Ortiz, an outright COVID-19 denier. “Recently, the attacks on me started to involve my family, and now I feel their safety is in danger,” he said at Tuesday’s meeting. “To put it simply, this job is not working for me.” The announcement came just weeks after her sons had been expelled from school for refusing to put on masks.
As his election approaches, Ortiz called COVID-19 a form of “control of the population by the left”, despite the death of the virus more than 200,000 people in October of last year. Despite this, he received the the most votes for the city council in the history of the city with more than 42,000 votes. Since his election as deputy mayor, which allowed him to take over as mayor if needed, he has refused to wear masks on several occasions, leading other council members to consider impeaching him.