Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. stripped of committee post after homophobic remarks

NEW YORK — The City Council voted Wednesday to officially disband the Committee on For-Hire Vehicles, a committee in which Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. was chairman.

The vote upholds the decision by the Council's Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections, who earlier Wednesday voted unanimously to dismantle Diaz's committee.

The vote effectively strips Councilman Ruben Diaz Sr. of his chairman position.

The committee dealt with issues relating to the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission, handling legislation regulating companies like Uber and Lyft.

These matters will now fall under the Committee on Transportation's jurisdiction.

Commenting on the initial committee vote, Council Speaker Corey Johnson was very clear that this was in response to Diaz's controversial statement on a radio show last week that the "homosexual community" controls the City Counsel.

Many have deemed Diaz's statement to be homophobic and feel he should apologize, including his own son, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Mayor Bill de Blasio.

At today's City Counsel meeting, five openly members of the 51-member City Counsel described the impact of Diaz's words and told moving stories of their personal experiences with homophobia.

Diaz, who was noticeably absent from Wednesday's meeting, invited PIX11 to a news conference Thursday at his Bronx office.

Since the controversy broke, Diaz has refused to apologize and even called himself the victim in the situation.

A Standards and Ethics investigation is now underway as well. If the probe finds Diaz violated Council rules, he could face serious consequences, including expulsion from City Council.

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