New Indio Mayor Michael Wilson is facing criticism from sanctuary city activists and the community one day after his term began. His critics saying the new mayor does not represent the views of the city's residents.
Every year the city of Indio elevates it's mayor pro-tem to the position of mayor. Normally this happens without much fan fare. But Michael Wilson's accession to the seat is ruffling some feathers in the community and it's not the first time.
"Mike is a polarizing figure. He seems to thrive on that kind of polarization, which has come into popularity I guess recently," said former Indio City Council member Sam Torres.
Activists have criticized Wilson's opposition to sanctuary city status in Indio, saying he does not represent the views of many city residents.
"It's not that fact that he would not adopt it. It's that he wouldn't even discuss it. He wouldn't even look at it," said Torres.
His critics have also pointed out the various lawsuits that have been filed against Wilson for harassment. Both in his personal life and at city hall.
"He was pounding the desk, on an HR directors desk, and intimidating her. And after all of that went down, we ended up paying her three hundred thousand dollars to settle the suit," Torres said.
In August, Wilson attacked the media and liberals over President Trump's response to the violence in Charlottesville in a tweet. The tweet coming from his Indio city twitter account. An account that is supposed to represent the city and an non-partisan city council. Wilson did not immediately respond to our requests for comment. But he did sit down with KMIR earlier this year to give his side of twitter drama.
"The point I was trying to make is not that Virginia, Charlottesville was the fault of the media and the democrats," Wilson said. "The point I was trying to make is that it doesn't matter what POTUS says, He could have been perfect in describing the events, condemning, disavowing and he would still be attacked."
It's important to note that voters in Indio have reelected Wilson to the city council for more than 20 years indicating that he does share a fair amount of support. This year will be Wilson's fourth time serving as mayor, doing so previously in 1997, 2003 and 2014.
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