In the first major development in the criminal investigation into Dominic Foppoli since nine women accused him of sexual misconduct or assault beginning last April, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office raided the disgraced former Windsor mayor’s home Wednesday morning, Nov. 10.

Detectives with the Sheriff’s Office executed the search warrant at 8:40 a.m Nov. 10 at Foppoli’s Windsor home, alongside members of the Northern California Computer Task Force (NC3TF), and they concluded the search at 10:41 am., according to Sgt. Juan Valencia.

Valencia said the detectives seized several items from the Foppoli residence, however, what those are is not public information. “They did take some items from the residence that they will be further looking into,” Valencia said.

While Valencia would not comment on the specifics of the ongoing investigation, he did emphasize that in order to get a search warrant, the Sheriff’s Office had to have probable cause they would find evidence of a crime. After detectives wrote the search warrant, it was approved by the state Attorney General’s office and signed by a judge, as required by law.

Foppoli.jpg

Dominic Foppoli

Normally, the Sonoma County’ District Attorney’s Office (DA) would approve the warrant before a judge to ensure probable cause was well established, however, the DA’s office recused itself because a former prosecutor, current Windsor council member Esther Lemus, numbers among Foppoli’s accusers. This left the state Attorney General’s Office to take over the investigation.

In response to criticism from members of the public that the investigation has been taking too long, Valencia said that investigators have taken their time in the interest of being thorough and careful.

“Usually (a prosecuting agency) reviews a search warrant to determine if there’s enough information there. With the Dominic Foppoli case, this is a very complex investigation, so they do take time,” Valencia said. “We want to make sure we’re turning over every stone and looking in every corner to make sure we’re not missing anything.”

Valencia said that if a search warrant is executed prematurely or otherwise incorrectly, it could hurt the prosecution’s case.

“You only have one chance to get this right, so we want to make sure it’s done right. It’s very important we do our due diligence, and we’re open and fair in our investigation,” he said.

Although he could not comment on the specifics, Valencia also said that the Sheriff’s Office obtained new information as-of-yet unavailable to the public that informed the search warrant.

The investigation is ongoing, and no charges against Foppoli have thus far been filed.

Foppoli was not present for the raid, Valencia said, and, according to reporting in The Press Democrat, a female tenant at the home said Foppoli had told her he would be in Italy for an indefinite amount of time.

Staff Writer

Brandon McCapes got his start in journalism at SRJC, when he covered the North Bay Fires in 2017. Since then, he has covered Sonoma County for a variety of publications, specializing in local politics and business reporting.

(3) comments

okieflats

You all voted for him didn't you? Overwhelmingly? And he was enthusiastically endorsed by Esther Lemus? And the rest of the entrenched gang? I think I'll submit a letter to the editor regarding Foppoli; let's see if they publish it.

droption

Forgive my ignorance if I ask why the search warrant is being executed now. Should it not have been served weeks, if not months, before?

Evidence could have been removed or destroyed while the prosecutors awaited a court order.

JHS

There was a new felony complaint. The SF Chronicle has a story about it.

"The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, which has been investigating the allegations, said another woman recently came forward with an account of felony sexual assault that she said occurred while Foppoli was an elected official. Last week, investigators raided Foppoli’s Windsor home, searching for evidence."

https://www.sfchronicle.com/projects/2021/dominic-foppoli-active-20-30-sexual-violence/

Newpapers should be digging deeper into the involvement of other public officials or those public officials who simply kept quiet but knew what was happening.

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