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California delegate agrees to leave DNC after disturbance

September 02, 2012|By Seema Mehta
  • The stage of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
The stage of the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. (Lynne Sladky / AP Photo )

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A California Democratic Party delegate who allegedly impersonated a member of Congress and was threatened with arrest after a disturbance in the delegation’s hotel early Sunday morning was kicked out of the hotel and will not attend the national convention.

“This afternoon, California Democratic Party staff met with the delegate who was part of the disturbance in the hotel lobby and asked him to leave the hotel and not partake in convention activities,” said party spokesman Tenoch Flores. “The delegate has apologized to hotel staff and earlier today agreed to leave the hotel and forgo official delegation activities in Charlotte.”

Shortly before 2 a.m., this delegate and another man arrived at the Blake Hotel. The other man was seen being carried from a taxi into the hotel, where he either fell or was dropped in the lobby, leading hotel staff to grow concerned about a head injury, according to reports. As he lay unconscious on the floor, hotel employees called 911, checked his vital signs and stabilized his body until paramedics arrived, strapped him to a board and took him to the hospital by ambulance.

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Flores said this delegate was treated and released.

The delegate who was sanctioned Sunday reportedly tried to intervene when hotel staff called  paramedics, arguing that the unconscious man had merely had too much to drink and ought to be put to bed. When he tried to move the man’s motionless body, hotel staff called the police.

When officers arrived, the man allegedly claimed to be a member of Congress, before stating repeatedly that he was a state party official. Police threatened to arrest him when he refused to provide identification, and hotel staff threatened to kick him off the property. He later apologized and was allowed to remain in the hotel for the remainder of the night.

The California Democratic Party declined to identify the delegate.

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seema.mehta@latimes.com

Twitter: @latseema

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