Mayoral recall called off in wake of presidential election results, claims of intimidation

The effort to recall Mayor Robert Garcia has been called off by organizer Franklin Sims.

In a video posted to social media Monday, Sims said he canceled the effort in the wake of the national election and because he said he and his supporters are being intimidated.

Sims is under investigation by state regulators and local prosecutors after complaints that he broke election laws. City Prosecutor Doug Haubert’s office has opened an inquiry into the recall campaign based on accusations from a former supporter that Sims is possibly misusing money that is raised to support the cause—which Sims has denied.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission currently has two open investigations into Sims.

Sims said in the video “credible political insiders” have assured him that Mayor Robert Garcia is going to be appointed to a position within President-Elect Joe Biden’s administration, making the recall effort moot. Sims offered his congratulations to the mayor but added that he is excited for Garcia to exit his position.

“This means we actually get an opportunity to make the changes we wanted to make when we began recalling Mayor Garcia,” Sims said.

Garcia did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Sims and his supporters launched the effort in large part over the city’s response to police unrest this summer and the fact that Garcia accepted donations from the police union.

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am to everyone who volunteered and helped us try to bring justice to our community,” Sims said.

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Brandon Richardson is a business reporter, covering everything from real estate and healthcare to the airport and port to city hall and the economy. He is a Long Beach native who has been with the Business Journal since graduating from Long Beach City College in spring 2016 with an associate’s degree in journalism. He is an avid record collector and concert goer.