This story was updated at 9 p.m. following an interview with Ken MacNab to clarify that whoever fills the seat, however it is filled, will become the at-large mayor for the reminder of the term.
In a statement dated May 24, the town of Windsor announced that at-large Mayor Dominic Foppoli officially submitted his resignation from office effective May 24, 2021. According to the statement, the town council is expected to officially acknowledge the resignation at their next regular meeting on June 2, 2021. Foppoli’s email was sent to Town Manager Ken MacNab.
“We are relieved to have this negative and tragic chapter behind us. The residents of Windsor deserve the complete focus of the at-large Mayor and the town council on the many vitally important matters we face,” said MacNab in a statement. “This has been a distraction, to say the least. We can now turn to helping everyone who has been impacted by these allegations to heal.”
Town officials, in consultation with outside legal counsel, will soon be presenting options to the town council regarding filling the mayoral vacancy. However, MacNab, in a statement and a follow-up interview, stated there are three options available to the town council for the filling the at-large mayor vacancy. No matter how the seat is filled, the person will be the at-large mayor — not a regular council member — for the remainder of the term.
The first option is to appoint a currently seated council member to serve for the remainder of the term of the elected mayor (through 2022). However, this would then result in a vacant town council seat, which would be filled by either an appointment process or a special election, just as Foppoli's vacated council seat was just filled by Rosa Reynoza.
The second option is to appoint a member of the public to serve the remainder of the term of the vacant mayoral seat. The options to do so include: (1) hold an application process and make an appointment from the applicant pool; (2) appoint a candidate from the recent May 4 special election; or (3) directly appoint an individual of council’s choice.
The third option is to hold a special election for voters to elect an individual to fill the remainder of the term of the vacant mayoral seat. This option would allow for any interested person to run for office and for the voters to select the replacement. The cost associated with holding an election would need to be determined and it is anticipated that the election could potentially take place in the latter part of 2021. Thus, the person elected would be in office for a year before their term expires.
Filling vacancies is governed by state law, via California government code section 36512. Municipalities and counties can create their own specific ordinances for filling vacancies, but Windsor has not done so. The town just went through a special election to the council seat Foppoli vacated when he was elected at-large mayor in 2020. That election was won by Reynosa, who is expected to be sworn in at the same June 2 council meeting.
Foppoli announced his resignation on May 21 following word that reality TV star Farrah Abraham had filed a police report in Florida alleging she had been assaulted by Foppoli in Palm Beach, Florida, in March.
The Times requested the documents pertaining to the charges from the Palm Beach police department, but the majority of information is redacted.
An email from Staci Mussmacher, a records specialist for the Palm Beach Police explains, “This is an open and active criminal investigation. Section 119.071(2)(c)1., F.S., exempts active criminal intelligence information and active criminal investigative information from public inspection. The attached document is our Face Sheet showing our involvement in the incident. This is the only releasable information available.”
The only additional information on the document includes that the report was made April 2, and that the charge is sexual battery, and the weapons are listed as “Hands/Feet/Teeth.”