Sean Loloee resigns from Sacramento City Council after federal indictment, mayor responds

Digging into Sean Loloee's city council resignation and mayor's response

SACRAMENTO - Sean Loloee, the Sacramento city councilman indicted by a federal grand jury, announced his resignation in a six-and-a-half-minute video released to YouTube on Thursday.

Loloee didn't hold back in the video, blasting Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg at various points throughout.

"I'm stepping down because of the recent politically motivated circus that Mayor Steinberg has created and his attempt to cover up his many shortcomings as the mayor of Sacramento," Loloee said. 

Loloee, 53, said it is not fair to Sacramento to let Steinberg use his situation as a distraction.

Mayor Steinberg held a brief press conference late Thursday afternoon in which he said Loloee's resignation was what was best for the city. Steinberg also addressed Loloee's comments made toward the mayor.

"Obviously, Councilmember Loloee is under a lot of pressure, and I just wish him the best. That's all. He did the right thing, and I wish him the best," he said in response to a question from CBS13's Steve Large regarding the comments. "I don't have a reaction. I've been in this business a long time. I stand by everything I've said and done, always in the best interest of the city. I wish him the best."

Mayor Steinberg said he was never notified by Loloee about the resignation. He said he learned by watching Loloee's video.

The resignation follows a federal indictment related to Loloee's private businesses last month. 

In the federal indictment, Loloee and Karla Montoya, 42, are being charged with conspiracy, obstruction of agency proceedings, and possession and use of false immigration documents. Loloee is also being charged with falsification of records and a pandemic relief fraud scheme. 

Loloee became the subject of a federal criminal investigation over his business dealings after CBS13 reported federal agents raided one of his Viva Supermarkets in October 2023.

Court documents also renewed long-standing concerns about Loloee's true residency. 

Prosecutors called Loloee a Granite Bay resident, and a judge ruled he must live in that Granite Bay home and not in his Sacramento District 2 home — where his co-defendant lives — during the trial.

Last week, Mayor Steinberg called on Loloee publicly to resign from his position. Following Steinberg's statement, Loloee reiterated then that he would not resign.

"I'm stepping down because I will not let Mayor Steinberg's troubling antics to continue to create a distraction," Loloee said in Thursday's video.

Loloee described serving District 2 residents as an "honor and privilege." He was elected in 2020. His next federal court date is set for February.

Who will fill the vacant city council seat?

During his Thursday press conference, Mayor Steinberg discussed the next steps for filling Loloee's now-vacant city council seat.

"There is a multi-candidate race to succeed the now-resigned incumbent in District 2. If any one of the candidates wins a majority of the votes, and therefore and thereby avoiding a runoff, they would not be sworn for a new term in until December of 2024. If that were the case, and if a candidate were to win outright, I would recommend strongly to my colleagues that we appoint that individual the following week.

The mayor continued, saying that if no candidate in the race secured a majority of the votes on March 4 and there was a runoff, he would recommend appointing a caretaker to the vacancy – but not until March 5 in the case that a candidate did win the majority.

A caretaker would be a temporary appointment made until someone is officially designated to fill the seat.

Steinberg said a special session will be held in the coming days with the council and city attorney to further discuss the next steps on filling the seat.

Until that seat is filled, either with a caretaker or someone else, Steinberg said his entire team will represent District 2.

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