Embattled Carlsbad Councilwoman Resigns Suddenly

Former Carlsbad council member Cori Schumacher

Carlsbad Councilwoman Cori Schumacher submitted her letter of resignation on Friday, ending her tumultuous tenure on the council immediately.

The city will release the next steps on Friday, as the councilwoman from District 1 steps down, the Coast News reported. Calls to the city's communications department were not immediately returned.

Schumacher, who was facing a recall movement funded and organized largely by Reform California -- a nonprofit aimed at holding the government accountable -- said in her newsletter she will be attending a university outside of San Diego County.

NBC 7's Priya Sridhar spoke to Carlsbad City Councilmember Cori Schumacher about recall efforts brought against her.

"It's an opportunity I simply cannot refuse," Schumacher wrote. "Unfortunately, this means that I am no longer able to continue in my role as your councilmember. And so, I have tendered my resignation to the city."

Schumacher, a world champion surfer and political activist, was elected to the Carlsbad City Council in an at-large seat in 2016. In 2018, she lost a mayoral bid against then two-term incumbent Mayor Matt Hall. She won the District 1 seat in 2020 following Barbara Hamilton's October resignation.

Schumacher told NBC 7 in June that she was the target of online harassment by some of her constituents and also faced backlash from some in the community over her efforts to start a dialogue about how the Carlsbad City Council should enforce public health orders during the pandemic after her city became "ground zero" for protests by restaurateurs who didn't want to follow the rules.

"It was only in these last final moments of the COVID-19 pandemic when there was this partisan push to defy the public health orders that I -- again it was just a request -- to have a discussion about enforcement about face masks, ordinances and public health orders because of the protests," she said in June.

Schumacher ended up pursuing legal action against some of her constituents who she says were harassing her. A judge dismissed her suit, but she says she has no regrets.

"I have a right to protect my family and, in this case, of course, I disagree with the judge's decision," Schumacher said.

Carl DeMaio, head of Reform California, who is also a conservative radio talk show host and former San Diego City Council member, has said that some of Schumacher's constituents came to him for help. He added that it was her decision to pursue legal action against voters that caused him to organize the recall effort.

"That is the primary reason for the recall, is her misconduct. She's also wrong on the issues but it's the misconduct that triggered the need for a recall," DeMaio said.

Schumacher said the recall effort was a political witch hunt.

"It makes sense that the GOP has finally figured out that it needs to attack what it considers to be vulnerable local elected officials in order to control the pipeline, the local political pipeline for the next two to six years," she said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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