A Democratic mayor in Northern California has tendered his resignation after a number of women including reality TV star Farrah Abraham accused him of sexual assault and harassment.
After a six-week investigation by the San Francisco Chronicle that laid out a number of allegations, Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli announced he would step down though he also has denied that he initiated unwanted sexual contacts.
The paper reported that the decision to step down by Foppoli, a former Republican who ran for his mayoral post as a Democrat in 2018, came a few hours after the Chronicle emailed him for comments regarding an investigation being conducted by Palm Beach, Fla., police.
That investigation stems from a complaint by a Los Angeles woman who said that Foppoli sexually assaulted her in the city in March, her attorney said. That alleged victim is Farrah Abraham, 29, who is a former reality TV star and social media influence, according to a spokesperson from the Palm Beach Police Department.
The spokesperson went on to note that Abraham is linked to a sexual assault report that was filed on April 2.
“I have always and will always maintain that I did not engage in any non-consensual sexual acts with any woman,” Foppoli said in a statement following his resignation, as reported by the Chronicle.
The now-former mayor also noted that he “recently learned that a woman in Palm Beach, Florida is accusing me of non-consensual acts while I was visiting there in March of this year. She made her allegations after she learned of the April 8, 2021 San Francisco Chronicle story. I have no doubt she is making these allegations in an attempt to leverage the situation to her advantage.”
However, the paper said that Foppoli’s statement is incorrect because Abraham filed her report with the police three days before reporters approached the mayor for comments and reaction for the story and six days before the story went live.
In the weeks prior, the city of Windsor, which is located in the midst of California’s wine country, has been rocked by the scandal, as Foppoli pledged he would not resign despite being pressed by elected city leaders and as more women came forward with allegations.
Rather, for the past six weeks, the Chronicle reported, Foppoli has unleashed a number of attacks against his female accusers, which even served to alienate his one-time political allies. The other eight mayors in Sonoma County, along with both U.S. representatives from the area and a growing number of residents all called on him to step down.
In a statement issued Friday to “the Residents of Windsor,” the embattled mayor said he was resigning because he did “not want undue national attention to have a negative impact on the Windsor community because of lawful, but poor choices, I have made in the recent past.”
Spencer Kuvin, a West Palm Beach-based attorney representing Abraham, insisted that his client has physical evidence of an alleged assault by Foppoli.
“This is not a ‘he said, she said’ situation. She has physical proof,” he told The Chronicle. “We believe it is in felony territory.”
She is the ninth woman to level accusations against Foppoli, who turned 39 on Saturday.
In an interview, Allison Britton, who alleges that Foppoli sexually assaulted her in a Reno hotel room in 2012, told the paper she did not want his resignation or other developments to cause a pause or interruption in any current ongoing criminal probes.
“I feel a great sense of relief, but I’m hoping this won’t result in a reduced public accountability for the investigation,” she said.
The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office launched its own probe of Foppoli last month, the paper said, adding that’s how the department’s detectives learned of the Palm Beach investigation.
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