Former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was not only sworn into his new position on the Huntington Beach City Council Monday but also, due to a quirk of the city's election laws, named mayor pro tem, meaning he will fill in for the mayor when necessary and perhaps be next in line to inherit the rotating position.
But Ortiz's first council meeting was not without controversy as some Huntington Beach residents took him to task for what many are calling irresponsible statements on the Covid-19 pandemic. Ortiz has embraced far-right conspiracy theories even calling Covid a "plandemic" during his acceptance speech, which refers to a widely debunked theory that coronavirus claims by the government are fraudulent. One citizen criticized Ortiz for posting erroneous information on his social media sites claiming that masks don't work in stopping the spread of Covid-19. And while other new city council members referred to the pandemic as a crisis, Ortiz was conspicuously one of the few people in attendance not wearing a mask.