The Sebastopol City Council has sent a letter of support to the Town Council of Windsor, which has demanded the resignation of its mayor Dominic Foppoli. Residents of the Town of Windsor, along with its council and other regional governmental authorities, have been calling for Foppoli to step down after the San Francisco Chronicle published bombshell allegations of decades of sexual misconduct.
Foppoli, who is alleged over decades to have sexually assaulted six women, including Windsor Town Council Member Esther Lemus, refused to step down at a recent public meeting during which members of the public and council members directly called for his resignations.
Efforts are currently underway by voters to remove him from office by means of a recall.
Sebastopol Mayor Una Glass introduced the demands for Foppoli’s resignations as a means to allow the Town of Windsor to continue to govern. Glass clarified that while the council is right to call for Foppoli’s resignation, it is not a judicial body and thus does not pass any judgement on what are now just allegations.
“We had a tremendous number of people contact us, and there was a tremendous outcry from the public regarding this matter in Windsor,” Glass said. “The law enforcement and court system are going to continue to deal with the allegations, but meanwhile the City of Windsor needs to get on with its business.”
The letter, initially to be signed by Mayor Glass alone was revised to include the signatures of all Sebastopol City Council Members; it reads: “The City of Sebastopol supports you (the Town Council of Windsor) in your demand that Windsor Mayor Foppoli resign immediately. Clearly your town cannot be governed effectively when your mayor stands accused of multiple acts of sexual assault and misconduct.”
The letter affirms that the City of Sebastopol takes issues of rape and sexual violence seriously, believes sexual assault survivors and supports holding perpetrators accountable for their actions.
Earlier this month, Glass co-signed a letter with the other seven mayors of Sonoma County cities (excluding Windsor) condemning Foppoli and calling for his resignation. Glass praised her colleagues, especially the men, for coming together to act quickly and decisively.
Both Glass and Council Member Diana Rich acknowledged that they themselves had been victims of abuses by people with authority over them in their youth.
“As his actions forced me to relive my own experiences as a young person—hopeful, trusting, innocent, wide-eyed and unprepared for predatory people in positions of power—I condemn Dominic Foppoli and all he did and said to destroy the lives of those he victimized,” Rich said, reading from a statement previously published on her social media feeds.
Council Member Neysa Hinton also read a statement she had posted to social media earlier on during the affair, saying, “I call on Dominic to resign immediately. I stand in support of victims of sexual violence. I stand in support with my fellow elected officials and add my voice to those who call for his immediate resignation.”
Glass herself apologized for emphasizing earlier this month that she had endorsed an opponent of Foppoli’s during his election campaign, saying she should not cast stones given the recent revelations regarding former Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob, whom she endorsed in 2012.
Jacob was arrested by Sebastopol police on April 10 on five counts related to sex with a minor. During his arraignment, the district attorney added an additional six counts to his charges.
“I’m very embarrassed that I endorsed that person, so let’s not throw stones at each other,” Glass said.
Although the subject matter bringing the topic to council was dark, council members acknowledged that the backlash against Foppoli shows that times are changing.
“This has got to stop. The little bit of silver lining here is the increased awareness and the commitment from our communities that this has to stop,” Glass said.