Otay Water District board member Hector Gastelum faces calls for resignation over racist tweets

Chula Vista to vote on resignation
Posted at 11:27 PM, Apr 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-12 13:55:45-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - The calls for an Otay Water District Board member to step down from his position are getting louder.

At Tuesday night's Chula Vista City Council meeting, nearly a dozen people asked the council to put the issue of Hector Gastelum on the agenda of its next meeting.

Fayaz Nawabi, spokesman for the San Diego Office of the Council on American Islamic Relations, is among those asking the city to take a public stand against Gastelum.

"He has been posting extremely hateful things on his social media with regards to his Facebook and Twitter accounts that are targeting the Muslim community, the transgender community and women and people of color," said Nawabi.

RELATED: Local official posts hurtful tweets about Muslims

Gastelum initially came under fire for his tweets about Muslims. One of the now deleted posts read: "let's pressure our legislators to increase list of so-called #MuslimBan to prevent #Subhuman #Scum from #USA."

Mona Dibas said city leaders should set an example of what justice looks like.

"Had this comment been made in any other work environment, Hector would have been removed," said Dibas.

Dibas and others said if Gastelum doesn't resign they'll force him out of office with a recall.

"With your silence, he has continued to discriminate against people like me and the people that you represent," said Dibas.

Other people said his comments are inappropriate as an elected official.

"He's a public official. I defend the Freedom of Speech for anyone as a private citizen," said Kilian Collin. "His salary is paid from my taxes and I refuse to [pay] my taxes to someone who is using bigotry against me as a Muslim American."

Gastelum has said he has no plans to resign.

"It's never my intention to be hurtful," said Gastelum during a recent interview with 10News. "Nowadays, sometimes people are hypersensitive."

10News sent him a tweet Tuesday night asking him for comment on Tuesday night's city council meeting, here is how the conversation continued:

Chula Vista City leaders have no authority over Gastelum's position, but his critics want the council to take a public stand.

The council will take up the issue at its next meeting on Tuesday, April 25.