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East Chicago council president announces resignation
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East Chicago council president announces resignation

East Chicago City Council Meeting

East Chicago Councilman at-large Emiliano Perez speaks at a council meeting in 2020.

EAST CHICAGO — Emiliano Perez, the former East Chicago fire chief who was elected president of the City Council earlier this year, announced his resignation from the council in a Facebook post Friday.

Immediate attempts to reach Perez on Friday were unsuccessful.

In the Facebook post, which was published at 4:52 a.m., Perez said he was resigning because he and his family recently had purchased a “forever home” and would be moving out of the city in the next several months. He was resigning immediately, he wrote, because “in today’s political climate I thought it to be the right thing to step down now.”

Perez, who held one of the nine-member council’s three at-large seats, wrote that he moved to East Chicago in 1985 and began working as a firefighter eight years later. Perez went on to serve as fire chief and later worked as the chief of staff for Mayor Anthony Copeland.

Fellow Councilman Terence Hill said he was caught off-guard when he heard news of Perez’s resignation Friday but wished his now-former colleague well.

“It’s a shock,” Hill said. “I’m going to miss him and hate to see him go, but when things come up and you’re dealing with your family, you get the chance and go.”

Copeland did not immediately respond to a request for comment. It also was not immediately clear how Perez’s seat would be filled and the process by which a new council president would be named. Robert Garcia, who Perez replaced as council president, currently serves as vice president.

In his Facebook post, Perez said he was “honored” to have served the city and touted some of the council’s achievements during his tenure.

“I introduced the first face mask ordinance to protect our residents, I helped restore the benefits to our police and firefighters, restore transparency to our budget, and brought attention and action to staffing levels at our police department,” he wrote.

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Andy is a staff writer with The Times covering public safety and breaking news. Contact him at andy.viano@nwi.com or 219-933-3250.

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