On Saturday night, April 10, Dominic Foppoli released a statement — his first since the beginning of the allegations of sexual assault against him — denying any wrongdoing and in turn pointing the fingers of misdeeds in other directions. He also made it clear he has no plans to resign.
“If I have done anything wrong, I would accept responsibility and I would resign. But I have not,” he said in the statement.
(See attached pdf for Foppoli’s complete statement.)
In his statement, Foppoli claims that one of the co-writers of the San Francisco Chronicle article that broke the story of his alleged sexual assaults has been investigating him to try and disclose “some hidden nefarious reason for my youthful successes.”
Foppoli also accuses his fellow council member, Esther Lemus, of pressuring him into a sexual situation that he didn’t want while at a government conference. Foppoli said that Lemus used her position of power over him to try and ensure that he didn’t tell anyone about the interaction.
According to a report from KCBS radio’s Mike DeWald in a separate statement dictated to KCBS Radio, Lemus pushed back against Foppoli's accusation, with her attorney calling the allegations 'outrageous.' Instead, Lemus contends that on two occasions in the past year, she believed she was drugged and put into sexually compromising positions — with the common element being Foppoli.
An email to the Times from Lemus’ attorney Traci Carrillo, Carillo described Lemus as “completely exhausted and traumatized by the continued terrorizing and false allegations being made about her by Dominic Foppoli.”
Lemus herself sent the following response to the allegations through Carrillo:
“This case isn’t only about me, but about every woman who has bravely come forward to share their sexual assault. It’s also about all of the other women who are out there and are afraid to come forward. I refuse to be silenced as hard and as humiliating as this has been and will continue to be at a great personal cost for me and my family. But telling the truth is all I know to do,” Lemus said.
Carrillo added, “Dominic’s attacks are classic behavior by a narcissist who is desperate to play victim. Esther has joined a courageous group of women who share the complex pain of coming to grips with being violated by someone they trusted, respected, cared for, were friends with or even in a relationship with as some of these women described.
“This is classic victim shaming and retaliatory behavior that is simply trying to silence truth by the many women who have shared it,” she continued. “To say it was consensual when women were intoxicated or drugged is not supported by the law. Women in that condition legally cannot consent. But it clearly makes them more vulnerable for a predator like Dominic Foppoli to prey on and continue to terrorize. His pattern of predatorial behavior is very evident by the many different women, including Esther, who have come forward.”
Reaction was swift and negative to Foppoli’s Saturday statement, and by Sunday afternoon, the town of Windsor announced a special meeting Wednesday, April 14 at 6 p.m. to “consider demanding that Mayor Foppoli resign from his elected position of At-Large Mayor of the Town of Windsor. The Town Council encourages interested parties to participate in the meeting and provide comments on this matter.”
Members of the public were encouraged to participate in the meeting by visiting: https://zoom.us/j/93594176326 or by dialing 877-853-5247 and enter Webinar ID: 935 9417 6326. They also invite locals to provide testimony and, if they are unable to participate in the meeting, to submit written comments to the town clerk’s office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org prior to the meeting.
On Sunday, Foppoli doubled down on his claims against Lemus, reaffirming his decision not to resign and calling on Lemus to resign both as a council member and in her role as a deputy district attorney.
Also on Sunday, there was a protest outside of Christopher Creek Winery which is owned in part by Foppoli, a report of which will be posted separately.