July 7, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Councilmember Greg Morena Resigns

Santa Monica City Councilmember Greg Morena Resigns to attend to family business

By Sam Catanzaro

Santa Monica City Councilmember Greg Morena, who was elected in 2018, has resigned effective June 24.

Morena, whose family owns the Albright restaurant on the Santa Monica Pier, said a statement that he has to renegotiate the lease or close the restaurant. The Santa Monica Pier is owned by the City of Santa Monica, and therefore Morena cited a conflict of interest as the reason behind his resignation.

“Like so many small independent businesses, I have struggled over the last three months to protect my family and my employees and their families who work at my restaurant on the Pier. I have taken out loans and gone into the red to feed them, keep up their health insurance, and do everything possible to have jobs waiting for them once this crisis is over. But unless I am able to renegotiate my lease for July and onward, I will no longer be able to remain in business,” Morena said, who has lived in Santa Monica for 37 years on the same Sunset Park street he grew up on. “While this narrative is echoed throughout restaurants in Southern California, what makes my story different is that my landlord is the City of Santa Monica and I am a Councilmember. As such, it is illegal to renegotiate ‘with myself.'”

Morena says he plans on remaining involved with civic matters and at the forefront of the City’s recovery efforts.

Morena often recused himself from items on council meetings’ agendas due to conflict of interests with the Albright restaurant.

Under California Government Code Section 1090, “officers or employees shall not be financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body or board of which they are members.” Violators can face criminal charges even when they abstained from the decision to approve the contract.

Prior to being elected to City Council Morena was a member of several city boards and commissions, including the Santa Monica Pier Lessee Association.

Council will likely approve Morena’s resignation at its June 23 meeting.

Santa Monica City Councilmembers who resign are not replaced by voters. Instead, the remaining Councilmembers choose a replacement. In 2018 when Councilmember Tony Vazquez resigned, Council selected Ana Maria Jara as a replacement.

Related Posts

Three teens arrested on suspicion of looting and arson: Santa Monica Beat – July, 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

July 6, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Three teens arrested on suspicion of looting and arson. * Covid-19...

Santa Monica Sees Unhealthy Air Quality After Fireworks

July 5, 2020

July 5, 2020

Fireworks continue in LA County despite ban By Staff Writer Air quality throughout most of Los Angeles County, including Santa...

Man Dies After Jumping off Santa Monica Pedestrian Bridge

July 4, 2020

July 4, 2020

By Sam Catanzaro A man died in Santa Monica Saturday morning after jumping onto the freeway from a pedestrian bridge....

Santa Monica Beaches–Aside From Pier–Score High Water Quality Marks

July 3, 2020

July 3, 2020

Heal the Bay releases annual water quality report By Sam Catanzaro Santa Monica beaches–with the exception of Santa Monica Pier–scored...

Santa Monica Sets Fines for Not Wearing Mask

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Order also authorizes businesses to refuse service for those not wearing masks By Sam Catanzaro The City of Santa Monica...

Newsom Orders LA County Dining Rooms Close

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Indoor museums, cardrooms and more also ordered to close By Sam Catanzaro Earlier this week Los Angeles County’s public health...

Local high school student wins national chess tournament: Santa Monica Beat – July, 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

July 2, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * Local high school student wins national chess tournament. * Man charged...

Hostel on Historic Property Eyeing Expansion

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Hostel located on same property as 19th-century Rapp Saloon eyeing five-story expansion By Sam Catanzaro A Santa Monica hostel located...

Appeals Court Issues Tentative Ruling in Voting Rights Case

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District issues tentative ruling in Pico Neighborhood Association, et al. v. City of Santa Monica By Sam Catanzaro...

Video: West Los Angeles VA Tent Row

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

What is the deal with the row of tents outside the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs campus? Learn more in...

$10k Reward for Info on Santa Monica Police Car Arsonist

June 30, 2020

June 30, 2020

FBI and Santa Monica police looking for suspect who was involved in May 31 police car fire By Staff Writer...

LA County Orders Closures of Beaches During 4th of July Weekend

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Fireworks displays also banned in county By Sam Catanzaro After reporting the highest single one-day COVID-19 case count, Los Angeles...

County Reports Highest Single-Day COVID-19 Tally

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

One in every 140 people in the county has the virus and is infectious, say LA County health officials By...

City Council re-allocates police funds: Santa Monica Beat – June, 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

June 29, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * City Council re-allocates police funds. * Will bars and restaurants remain...