Clayton Perry will not resign from the San Antonio city council and the council will not require him to

From Texas Public Radio:

On Monday, the San Antonio City Council canceled a call asking District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry to resign amid allegations of involvement in a hit-and-run and possible drunk driving. It was almost a complete reversal from his original position last week.

The council voted 8–1, with two abstentions, to remove the resignation request from the resolution that ultimately gave Perry a vote of no confidence. San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg was the only nay voter who wanted to keep the language of the resignation.

District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez moved to remove the wording. District 1 City Council member Mario Bravo supported the proposal.

“I heard you told us that you were going to rehab for your problem,” he said. “It’s even more important to me that taking responsibility plus knowing you have a problem are two very important steps out of 12 that many of us are familiar with.”

The board approved a temporary leave for Perry, which began the process of appointing a temporary board member pending his return.

Earlier Monday, Perry announced that he plans to take a sabbatical from the council. He said he has no plans to retire.

“I’m human and I made a bad decision – a serious one,” Perry said earlier Monday. He asked for advice about “compassion” – the advice seemed to give him that.

Perry also declined to comment after board deliberations.

By the end of the 90-minute discussion and public comments, District 6 Councilwoman Melissa Cabello Hawrda supported the amendment to the resolution and said she did not want Perry to resign. District 4 Councilor Adriana Rocha Garcia, District 5 Councilor Teri Castillo, District 7 Councilor Ana Sandoval, and District 9 Councilor John Courage also supported the amendment.

Rocha Garcia also proposed another amendment allowing a temporary appointment to the District 10 office while Perry takes temporary leave. He was seconded and carried.

The audience applauded when Perry entered the council chamber for the first time, about an hour after his press conference. Several of his colleagues on the council shook hands with him, including Nirenberg, or hugged him.

As soon as the meeting began, the audience spoke first.

Michael Anderson, a Perry supporter, said that Perry was actively pushing for property tax cuts. He says Perry failed himself but never betrayed his constituents. Anderson added that he was concerned about the process of appointing someone to replace Perry.

Lon Jett said: “All [Perry] turns to gold. … He is confused. He already said it. … Let’s vote against [on the resolution.]”

Peggy Sue Wilson-Schmukl said that “it was an accident and not a pre-planned criminal conspiracy or cover-up.” She added that “Perry has confessed to his actions” and now it’s up to the courts to decide. “It doesn’t have to be Judge Judy,” she said.

James Hamilton disagreed with the supportive comments. He said that Perry asked for white privileges, referring to Perry’s plea for compassion from the council and his plan to take a sabbatical instead of resigning. “He’s asking for something that no man in San Antonio can get,” Hamilton said. “You won’t get white privilege. … Resign. Go get the help you need.”

Jeff McManus, chairman of the Bexar County Republican Party, thanked Perry “for admitting his mistakes. … I don’t think the council should be taking that kind of action today.” McManus asked for advice to give Perry some time to think.

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