Story by Georgia Parsons
Photo by Sophie Yeung
Council member Marina Khubesrian released a statement on Saturday, Aug. 15 announcing her resignation from the city council after she admitted to sending harassing emails from fake accounts to a colleague. Khubesrian’s resignation will take full effect on Tuesday, Aug. 18.
In her statement, Khubesrian expressed regret for the emails and offered an apology to all parties involved.
“I will reach out and individually apologize to the individuals who received emails or were mentioned in the emails especially since the hardest regret I live with is the knowledge that what I’ve done caused or could have caused someone any harm, worry, concern or emotional upset,” Khubesrian said.
She also reaffirmed her decision to not run for an additional four year term on the city council and noted that she will no longer be voting on any matters or doing any work on behalf of the city. Khubesrian explained that she was in a time of “great personal stress” amid the coronavirus pandemic when she sent the emails.
“I realized I’d been burning the candle at both ends, was overly stressed, had trouble sleeping, and was taking political disputes far too personally. I was also taken aback by harsh criticism of and attacks on hard-working city employees who I thought were doing a good job. I’ve been successfully addressing the stressors and personal health issues that came to a head in May and June.”
Khubesrian’s emails came to light on Sunday, Aug. 2 after informant Chris Bray alleged that the two people who harassed council member Michael Cacciotti in emails and public comments were fake identities. Under the pseudonyms of Mel Trom and Emily Diaz-Vines, Khubesrian accused Cacciotti of corruption and condemned critics of the proposed 2020-2021 city budget.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney is currently investigating the case. The city council could not be reached for comment about Khubesrian’s vacancy.