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Tense meeting avoided as LA-area councilman quits
Members of Los Angeles-area city council who had affair avoid tense meeting after 1 resigns
By The Associated Press

SAN FERNARNDO, Calif. (AP) Two members of a Los Angeles-area City Council who had an affair that led to an ugly spat and mutual restraining orders avoided a potentially tense council meeting Tuesday night when one of them resigned hours before.

San Fernando Councilman Mario Hernandez stepped down before a City Council meeting that would include his former mistress, Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre.

The two are under court orders to stay 100 yards away from each other, and it was not clear how the meeting would have been conducted had both attended. Both sought restraining orders after a June 28 confrontation over a trip Hernandez was taking and an iPad she wanted to get back from him.

Hernandez issued a statement Tuesday that was to be read at the meeting, announcing his departure and apologizing.

"I wish to apologize for the inconveniences caused by my personal life. It was never my intent to damage or inconvenience our city," the statement said. "Although I did not let these issues affect the execution of my duties as an elected representative, I feel submitting my resignation will help continue to heal the city."

In November, Hernandez, who was the mayor and married at the time, and de la Torre shocked the council when they announced that they were romantically linked. His wife was in the audience.

De La Torre could not be reached for comment Tuesday night, but said in a statement Friday that "words cannot begin to express how saddened I am over the events of the past several days."

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