PR Consultant Ruben Gonzalez Resigns Over Bernard Parks Mailer Snafu
Update below: Gonzalez apologizes to voters in a robocall.
As voters head to the polls today, there's some fallout to report from last week's story about the long list of dead people who were named on a mailer as supporters of Councilman Bernard Parks.
Ruben Gonzalez, the consultant who botched the mailer, has resigned from the firm of Englander, Knabe & Allen.
Gonzalez used an endorsement list that was eight years old, and included more than 30 people who had died, along with others who are supporting Parks' opponent, Forescee Hogan-Rowles.
The mailer became an embarrassment to the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce, which authorized it.
Gonzalez wrote a resignation letter on Monday to Harvey Englander and the other partners at the firm.
"It is with a heavy heart that I tender my resignation," he wrote. "For the past 6 years it has been a true honor and privilege to work with you and all the others on this great team. I am grateful that I was able to be a part of it."
Before joining Englander, Knabe, Gonzalez was government affairs director for former L.A. Controller Laura Chick.
Reached on Monday, Englander declined to comment on Gonzalez's employment status.
"We handle personnel matters internally," he said.
Englander also said that the L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce would not be charged for the mailer.
Update: Here's how much Englander, Knabe & Allen values the Chamber's business. The day he resigned, Gonzalez donned a hair shirt and recorded a robocall that went to the thousands of households that received the mailer. Here's the script:
My name is Ruben Gonzalez and last week I made an honest mistake.
When I printed the mailer I had created endorsing Bernard Parks, I printed an-out-of-date list of people who endorsed Bernard Parks in a previous Council race. Some of the people listed are not endorsing Councilman Parks in this race and some of them have even died.
I made a mistake and I'm very sorry. The error was mine alone in not closely proof-reading the mailer. Councilman Parks had nothing to do with this mailer.
Your vote for City Council should not be based on an error I made but on who you believe will best represent your community on the City Council.
Again, my name is Ruben Gonzalez and my phone number is XXX-XXX-XXXX* if you want to speak with me personally.
I am personally paying for this call, as I am trying to correct a mistake that I made.
*We're leaving his phone number out, because he's been through enough.
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