San Antonio City Council votes ‘no-confidence’ in Clayton Perry but scraps call for him to resign; prepares for temporary replacement – KSAT San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – For the second time in a week, the San Antonio City Council passed a vote of “no-confidence” regarding one of its members.

However, council members watered down their resolution first by removing a request for District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry, who is charged in a hit-and-run crash that may also result in a DWI charge, to resign.

Perry had already said he would not be resigning and instead asked his fellow council members to allow him to take a “sabbatical.”

“During this time, I’ll be taking the appropriate measures as determined by medical professionals to ensure this will never, never happen again. I commit wholeheartedly to whatever course of action or rehabilitation they recommend,” Perry told council members in an identical statement to what he told reporters earlier in the day.

The city council decided to go along with the request and plans to appoint a temporary replacement while Perry is on that sabbatical.

City Attorney Andy Segovia said the appointee would be able to serve through the rest of Perry’s term, which ends in early June 2023, or until Perry decides to return.

Perry has been charged with failure to stop and provide information after a crash on Nov. 6, resulting in damages to a vehicle over $200. The charge is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.

On Friday, SAPD announced it would also file a DWI charge against the councilman with the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office. However, a spokeswoman with the DA’s office told KSAT on Monday afternoon they had not received it.

Though Perry admitted in his comments Monday to having caused the crash, and said he took “full responsibility,” the North Side councilman would not say if he had been drinking when pressed by reporters.

Council members do not have the power to remove another member from office, barring criminal convictions involving “moral turpitude,” though voters can petition for a recall election.

So the language in the original resolution asking Perry to resign would have been non-binding.

Even so, District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez proposed changing the resolution language to exclude the resignation request.

“When a human being says, ‘I need help, and I need you to help me find that help,’ then I consider it my human obligation to throw him a lifeline,” Pelaez said.

Pelaez’s amendment also removed language in the resolution that stated Perry had showed “limited remorse or accountability.”

Perry had previously downplayed the hit-and-run crash as a “hassle” but included a more extensive apology, including to the occupants of the other car, in his remarks Monday.

Mayor Ron Nirenberg, who had already called on Perry to resign if the details about the crash are true, was the only one to vote against stripping the resignation request from the motion.

“I made my statements very clear that if what was in the police report turned out to be accurate, which I think the videos have shown to be, so that I believe that in the best interest of the city organization, the standards that we keep and the behaviors that we expect from our elected representatives and frankly, for the best interests of of Councilmember Perry getting well, that he should step down. And I still believe that,” Nirenberg said.

District 2 Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez, who appeared to speak in favor of the request to resign, abstained from voting on the amendment, as did Perry.

The remaining council members voted in favor, including District 1 Councilman Mario Bravo, who was the subject of a censure and no-confidence vote last Thursday, though he abstained from the final vote approving the amended resolution.

A City Hall source said the resolution, including the call for Perry to resign, was discussed during an executive session last week, though the source had not been part of it.

“That would not have been on the agenda had there not been at least tacit agreement,” said the source, who added that the push to amend the resolution hadn’t started until over the weekend.

A council member confirmed the resignation request had been part of the executive session discussion, but the council did not see the proposed resolution language until it was posted online.

A city spokeswoman told KSAT that Nirenberg “in consultation with the City Manager determine agenda items.”

“The City Council provided feedback on potential options to address the incident. The Council considered a resolution to address the incident in open session,” the spokeswoman wrote in an email.

Apart from Perry and Bravo, who abstained from voting, the final resolution passed council unanimously.

CONTEXT: Everything we know so far about San Antonio Councilman Clayton Perry’s arrest

Perry has faced extensive criticism for the alleged hit-and-run crash, which he has now confessed to causing.

The councilman turned himself into the Bexar County Courthouse Thursday afternoon, but he was released after posting a $1,000 bond. He’s suspected of crashing his Jeep Wrangler head-on into a Honda Civic before speeding away from the scene.

According to the SAPD’s body cam footage that surfaced online Thursday, an officer found Perry lying in his yard, smelling of alcohol, and the Jeep was parked in his driveway, still running after the crash.

It wasn’t jeers but supporters’ applause that greeted Perry as he entered council chambers on Monday.

Many of those who signed up to speak to council said the resolution was premature and said the people of District 10 should make the decision whether to remove Perry.

“This is a rush to judgment based on trial by TV. This is pure political theater,” Craig Courtney told council members.

Not everyone was there in his corner, though. James Hamilton, who is Black, said Perry was asking for “white privilege.”

“There’s a lot of Black and brown people here in San Antonio that don’t get to take a sabbatical because they get a DWI charge and run into some people,” Hamilton said.

The city clerk will accept applications from anyone interested until Nov. 28. The council can select up to three applicants at its Nov. 30 next B-session meeting and then select someone at their next A-session.

Currently, Perry’s term is set to end next year. He’s served on city council since 2017.

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