Pico Rivera Council Reacts to Councilman's Anti-Military Remarks

Life comes at you fast. And so do the updates in the controversy surrounding Pico Rivera City Councilman Greg Salcido. Let’s lay a few of them out on the table.

He’s not sorry.

At least, that’s what we can assume from the lack of an apology days after the story broke. One could still be forthcoming but, so far, we haven’t heard it.

The Trump Administration is now involved.

Trump White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, a former Marine general and father of a slain soldier, was asked about Salcido’s comments during an interview with Fox New radio on Wednesday.

"Well, I think the guy ought to go to hell," Kelly said. "I just hope he enjoys the liberties and the lifestyle that we have fought for."

Reactions to the comment were split. Some praised Kelly’s candor; others saw it as further evidence of the coarsening of America’s political culture. 

Fellow Councilmember Bob Archuleta remains outspoken.

City News was able to get a direct statement from Pico Rivera Councilmember Bob Archuleta on the controversy. As a military veteran and father of two West Point graduates, Salcido’s comments hit close to home.

“I was appalled as an American, a parent, as a veteran, I could not believe what I was hearing,” Archuleta told City News. “My two sons are serving in the military right now on active duty and to have them categorized as ‘dumb shits’ or ‘the lowest of the low’ was just appalling. I join with my fellow veterans, Goldstar mothers and everyone who recognizes those who have served.”

He noted residents have been calling for an apology. Some want to see Salcido resign. The council has been conferring with the city manager and city attorney “to see what course of action we could take,” he added. Censure is a possibility.

Asked whether Salcido has tried to communicate with council members or the city manager about the controversy, Archuleta said he had not.

Mayor Gustavo V. Camacho issued the following official statement:

It's unclear what course of action the school can legally take.

Salcido remains on leave while the El Rancho Unified School District investigates the incident. But as this article from the Whittier Daily News points out, there are questions over whether Salcido’s comments could constitute protected speech.

Read more about the actions the school has taken here