Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

San Gabriel Mayor Albert Huang resigns

October 19, 2010 | 11:48 am

The booking photo of Albert Y.M. Huang, mayor of the city of San Gabriel. Credit: San Gabriel Police Department

San Gabriel Mayor Albert Y. M. Huang, who was arrested Friday after an early morning altercation with a woman outside a restaurant, has resigned from his post as well as the San Gabriel City Council.

In an emotional news conference at his lawyer's office in Rosemead, Huang, 35, spoke in English and Chinese to a throng of press. "The unwanted media attention from this private occurrence has greatly affected my family," he said. "It's a tough decision we, as elected officials, have to make."

Huang, who is separated from his wife, Maryann Chen, did not mention the imbroglio with an unidentified woman that started at New Taste Dumpling House in San Gabriel and ended with him arrested on suspicion of felony robbery and assault. He has not been formally charged.

Huang and the woman reportedly started arguing after arriving at the restaurant around 1 a.m. The argument escalated into a food fight when she threw a steamer of dumplings at him and he threw vinegar at her.

Huang took the woman's purse and, according to police, tried to leave in the woman's SUV. They scuffled at the car and Huang got out of her car and into his. She tried to prevent him from driving off by standing on the running board of Huang's SUV and hanging on as he drove away, reaching a speed of 45 miles per hour before a security guard from a local business could stop him.

Huang said he made his decision after seeing a picture of his 3 1/2-year-old daughter, Madison, posted on the Internet with a story about him.

"So I decided for my family and my child I will sacrifice anything to protect them," he said in Chinese.

Huang's face contorted with anguish and he choked back tears when his late mentor's wife, Betty Mui, commended him at the news conference. Mui's husband, Chi Mui, was the city's first Asian mayor. Huang was tapped to replace him in 2006 and then won reelection on his own in 2007. (The City Council members rotate in the mayoral post.)

"I know Albert," said Betty Mui as her own voice choked with emotion and she stopped to compose herself. "Albert did a lot to accomplish what Chi left behind. This is a great loss to the community. But it's just as good that he can now focus on his family."

His lawyer, Daniel Deng, said his client planned to fight any charges: "He wants to prove his innocence."

-- Ching-Ching Ni

Photo: Albert Y.M. Huang, mayor of the city of San Gabriel. Credit: San Gabriel Police Department