Long Beach City Hall. Photo by Thomas Cordova

A Long Beach Equity and Human Relations commissioner threatened her political opponents with being put on “a list” in online comments, a statement that could lead to disciplinary action, including potentially being removed from the commission, according to a letter from the city attorney’s office.

The letter refers to comments posted on a Facebook group by Commissioner Keyona Montgomery on Nov. 6, who was discussing the mayoral election between Councilmembers Rex Richardson and Suzie Price. Montgomery, who supports Richardson, said that some commenters needed to watch what they said and implied they could face retribution.

“See you post Election Day in my post when Rex wins,” Montgomery wrote. “Keep your comments chill bc I’ve heard that you folks are going on a list. Xoxo”

Montgomery said Friday that there is no list and she was being facetious when she made the comments on Facebook.

“To me, it’s a non-issue, it’s not that serious,” Montgomery said.

Richardson and Price are still locked in a close election that could take until the end of the month to officially declare a winner. Richardson is currently ahead by 8.5 points.

Deputy City Attorney Taylor Anderson said in the letter that the comment “suggests political hits and paybacks if others do not vote for the candidate she supports” and laid out options that the commission or the City Council could take in response.

The Equity and Human Relations Commission could vote to censure Montgomery, which is the issuance of formal disapproval of her actions by the commission through a vote. Her fellow members could also request that she resign or refer the issue to the City Council, which could vote to remove her.

City Council members would need a simple majority vote to remove Montgomery from the commission.

Montgomery, for her part, chalked up the issue to “election season drama” but said she’d accept whatever punishment the commission decides to impose, such as censuring her. But she clarified that she doesn’t believe the situation warrants a City Council vote on removing her from the body.

Commissioners can be removed from their posts for several reasons, according to the municipal code, including being absent from three consecutive meetings without being excused, moving out of the city while time is still left on a commissioner’s term or “incompetence, malfeasance, misfeasance, neglect of duty, or conviction of a crime involving moral turpitude.”

Jon Schultz, a member of the commission, said he’s already expressed that he will not serve on the commission if Montgomery remains on the body.

“When you see ‘lists,’ that’s scary,” Schultz said. “I don’t know what list she’s talking about, but to threaten residents with a list in the things she’s saying and how she’s acting out, I would certainly think she’s keeping a list.”

Dana Buchanan, a member of the Citizen Police Complaint Commission who was engaged in the online conversation with Montgomery, referred to Montgomery’s statement as voter intimidation.

Buchanan said she’s unsure what to think about the “list” but wouldn’t doubt if one exists. She also questioned whether being on any “list” might affect the contracts her catering business has with the city.

Regardless, Buchanan said the conduct was inappropriate of a city commissioner.

“If I was to go out and talk about [police] cases in the public, that’s how egregious it is for her to act like that in being on that commission, to me,” Buchanan said.

The Equity and Human Relations Commission is a recently renamed city commission that aims to promote and encourage positive human relations among community members and to develop programs for the reduction of tension, conflict or violence that might arise from intolerance, prejudice or discrimination, according to the city’s municipal code.

Editors note: The Human Relations Commission was recently renamed the Equity and Human Relations commission.


The commission’s next scheduled meeting will likely be on Dec. 7.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.