Protestors are calling for his ouster, politicians, including close friends, are calling for him to resign, and another woman has come forward alleging abuse, but Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli has remained silent, releasing only cursory statements through his lawyer.
On Thursday evening, April 8, a small group gathered at the Town Green to protest Foppoli and demand his resignation. On Friday, nearly 50 people showed up on the street corner at the end of the Central Windsor offramp waving signs and calling for his removal. As rush hour ramped up, many of the drivers honked and cheered in support of the protestors, including one man who shouted, “Lock him up!” out the window of his car.
Another vehicle passing by, honking and waving in support, was a Windsor Police Department cruiser.
However, things took a turn that evening as protestors traveled to the neighborhood where Foppoli lives, papering the street with flyers proclaiming that neighbors live near a rapist.
Another event is scheduled for Sunday.
On Saturday, the San Francisco Chronicle brought forward the story of a fifth woman going on the record to allege that Foppoli had abused her sexually. Shannon McCarthy was in a relationship with Foppoli in the early 2000s when they were both young and in college, and the details of their time together is harrowing.
Calls for his resignation continue to rise, with the two U.S. congressmen who represent the region, Reps. Jared Huffman of San Rafael and Mike Thompson of St. Helena, adding their voices to the calls to resign.
“I am calling for the Windsor Mayor to resign immediately. This is not a close call,” Huffman said on his Facebook page.
Throughout all this, Foppoli has remained silent and seemingly in hiding. According to the Saturday Chronicle article, “Foppoli responded over email Saturday morning, but did not address McCarthy’s account. He said only, ‘I plan on having a full response about all of the allegations today.’”
As of 6:30 p.m. on Saturday evening no response has been seen.
Previous communications from Foppoli’s attorney, Bethany Kristovich of Los Angeles, stated that Foppoli “categorically denies having engaged in any of the abuses described,” Kristovich said in an emailed statement to the Chronicle.
“Sexual assault and sexual misconduct are very serious issues, and Mr. Foppoli takes these allegations very seriously,” the statement said. “He has a long history of supporting women in his business, personal, and political lives, and the accusation that he has engaged in any of these misdeeds is deeply troubling. Mr. Foppoli prides himself on working to improve life for all of his constituents, and he will continue to maintain the fundamental value of treating everyone with respect.”
Fellow council member Debora Fudge has also found herself in the hot seat in relation to these crimes, primarily around the questions of “What did she know and when did she know it,” as an email acquired by the Chronicle showed that Fudge received an email about improper behavior on Foppoli’s part in 2017 when she was mayor.
Most of the protestors on Friday were also calling for her resignation or removal, and she is currently out of the area after having had hip replacement surgery on Thursday morning.
She released a statement on Friday afternoon apologizing for her delayed response and outlining her thoughts and the action she took regarding the 2017 email.
“First off, for the victims who were brave enough to share their stories, I commend you. Dominic’s actions are deeply, deeply disturbing, and I join my fellow councilmembers in calling for his IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION. Violating another person is not acceptable — ever. I am committed to the pursuit of justice, and will work with town officials and law enforcement to ensure Dominic is held accountable for his actions.
“As described in The Chronicle, the Town of Windsor received an email addressed to me, as the Mayor at the time, alleging acts of sexual impropriety at Dominic’s winery in 2013 before he was elected to the council. I followed town policies and procedures and immediately forwarded the email to Windsor’s town manager and town attorney (both who have since moved on or retired). I relied on the town manager and town attorney, who notified the other councilmembers of the email received (Sam Salmon, Bruce Okrepkie and Mark Millan). The entire town council met in closed session to speak to Dominic. I cannot legally divulge that discussion. The town manager and town attorney performed an investigation. I was quick to respond to the accuser, and thanked her for her courage in coming forward.
“The first time I learned about the additional allegations was when I read the article in The Chronicle. Like all of you, I am shocked, disturbed and rattled by the allegations in the Chronicle. It completely contradicts the values of the small-town, family-friendly character that I’ve supported in Windsor during my last 24 years on the town council.
“Dominic Foppoli must be removed from office if he fails to step back on his own. He must be brought to justice and held to the highest standards – no one is above the law, and I hope those he has wronged are vindicated, and that Dominic is held accountable. He is not a leader, he is a predator … and he must go — now,” she concluded.
A Facebook page titled “Recall Dominic Foppoli” has stated they are initiating a recall and soliciting for support on their Facebook page. According to a post made Saturday morning, they plan to turn in initial recall paperwork Monday, April 12.
Their statement references a rumor being circulated that Foppoli does not plan to resign.
“It came to our attention that any possibility of Foppoli removing himself from the council is not going to be an option. With this in mind; we have collected the recall packet, and initiated the recall process. We are working on details however the recall will be filed Monday morning,” it says.