Mike Rios recall, Moreno Valley, California (2012)
Reasons for recall
The Democratic Club of Moreno Valley organized the recall effort. The effort was launched in response to attempted murder charges against Rios stemming from a February 2012 incident in which Rios allegedly shot at two men.
Rios faces 35 felony charges including 11 counts of rape, pimping and pandering involving six victims, including two underage girls. Rios also faces two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of dissuading a witness in connection with the February shooting. Rios claims the charges against him are false and that his enemies are engaging in a “political assassination on me.” Rios was originally held on $250,000 bail, until he made bail and was released. Under state law, Rios is allowed to remain on the school board unless convicted of a felony. On April 10, 2012, the school board unanimously agreed to censure Rios. The board also voted to seek a restraining order against Rios and requested his immediate resignation.
The embattled school board member's trial began on January 31, 2013. Rios faces accusations that he ran a prostitution ring out of his home in 2011 and 2012. A witness in the trial said Rios approached her on the street, gave her a school district business card, and recruited the witness to "gather girls and sell them." Some of the girls who were allegedly involved in the prostitution ring were minors. As the trial continues, Rios continues to attend school board meetings and vote on board issues.
Path to the ballot
Recall organizers needed to submit the signatures of 15% of the 61,500 registered voters in the Moreno Valley Unified School District, or about 9,225 signatures. In late October 2012, recall organizers announced that they had fallen short of the signature requirement, having only gathered 500 signatures. Rios continues to serve on the school board.
City council run
In August 2012, Rios filed papers to run for a city council seat.
- NBC Southern California, "Recall Launched Against Moreno Valley School Board Member Accused of Rape," April 9, 2012
- Press-Enterprise, "School board member Rios won’t face recall," October 30, 2012
- Press Enterprise, "Democratic Club begins Mike Rios recall effort," March 21, 2012
- KPCC, "Moreno Valley school board takes action against member accused of rape and pimping charges," April 11, 2012
- Press Enterprise, "MORENO VALLEY: Trial date set for Rios’ pimp-rape case," October 25, 2012
- Los Angeles Times, "Trial begins for Moreno Valley school board member Mike Rios," January 31, 2013
- Inland Empire, "Pimpin’s Easy, City Council Elections Are Super Hard," August 3, 2012