WINDSOR, Calif. (KGO) – The sexual misconduct investigation into Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli was moved to another level today when the Sonoma District Attorney announced that the case would be referred to the California Attorney General. A conflict of interest due to one of the alleged victims is to be avoided. Esther Lemus serves as the county’s assistant prosecutor.
Last week, an investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle found four women accusing the mayor of sexual misconduct from 2003 onwards.
Sophia Williams was one of them. She said others would follow. “I’ve heard the other stories. They made me think that there are other victims who have stories like mine or worse.”
RELATED: Legislature urges Windsor Mayor to resign after multiple sexual assault allegations
There are now six suspected claimants, including Lemus, who says Mayor Foppoli drugged and sexually assaulted them in February 2020.
Foppoli responded by accusing Lemus of sexually harassing him.
“I think it’s ridiculous that Mr Foppoli should claim to be a victim,” Lemus told Santa Rosa Press Democrat.
“If I did something wrong, I would take responsibility and resign. But I haven’t,” said the mayor in his statement.
Questions remain about a letter to the city council in 2017 about the mayor’s alleged behavior. When councilor Debora Fudge was asked about this on Monday, she was unable to comment in detail. “I forwarded the letter to the attorney and the city. It was a formal process. I want the whole city to know that all of this council was with me when I received this letter dealing with Dominic personally.”
RELATED: Windsor Mayor Responds after Multiple Women Accused Him of Sexual Assault
On Wednesday evening, Windsor City Council will call on Mayor Foppoli to step down. “We strongly condemn the mayor’s actions and will meet on Wednesday and ask him to resign,” said Fudge.
However, the city council only has the power to ask. A voter recall would force Foppoli out of office. This recall movement already has the signatures of 500 households. “He doesn’t have the moral authority, voter confidence, or skill set. It’s time he left,” said Ted Zahner, who heads the recall.
Even Mayor Foppoli will never rise to a seat representing Sonoma County on the board of directors of the Golden Gate Bridge District. The Board of Supervisors will lift that tomorrow. “It’s just disgusting. This was an ugly chapter that needs to be closed,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt.
It remains open for the time being. A steamy controversy in what is usually the quietest city.
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