WINDSOR, Calif. - Disgraced Windsor mayor Dominic Foppoli resigned Friday, ending a stalemate that dragged on almost two months.
His capitulation coincides with a new sexual misconduct claim against him.
"It probably took longer than it should have because the allegations are pretty serious," said Windsor business owner Mark Shimizu.
"It's just sad for the community that it all snowballed into a big mess."
Allegations emerged in early April, with multiple women over many years accusing Foppoli of sexual abuse and assault.
The group includes one of his Windsor Council colleagues, Esther Lemus.
"It's a big relief for myself, for many residents, and for the town," said Lemus, reacting to the resignation.
"I think we will come together, we will heal and we will move forward, we're a very strong community."
In his written resignation, Foppoli's says he is quitting because he loves Windsor, and doesn't want what he calls his "poor choices" to affect the town negatively anymore.
But he still proclaims innocence, as he did in a heated council meeting in April, declaring "I hold my head high because I know deep in my heart I have done nothing criminally wrong."
Foppoli has characterized the allegations as a smear campaign to ruin him.
But the emergence of a new accuser appears to be a tipping point.
Former "Teen Mom" personality Farrah Abraham says she had an encounter with Foppoli in Palm Beach in March.
Abraham's attorney says video exists proving sexual misconduct by Foppoli.
Local investigators have spoken with detectives in Florida.
"As soon as we started doing our investigation we found out there was a separate investigation occuring in that area," confirmed Sgt. Juan Valencia of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Dept.
Foppoli's resignation reads in part: "I did not engage in any non-consensual acts with any woman."
He accused Abraham of "making these allegations to leverage the situation to her advantage."
But by all accounts, Abraham went to police before Windsor's scandal broke.
"She filed a report on April 3rd, which pre-dated the Chronicle newspaper expose," said Windsor Vice-Mayor Sam Salmon.
Windsor council members have also come in for criticism, from residents who believe they were too lenient toward Foppoli misbehavior. They hope his exit ends the turmoil.
"We can do our business now without this circus over our head," said Salmon.
"I think the town was betrayed, we just didn't have a clue."
Elected colleagues, who worked alongside Foppoli for years, wonder how he can remain in his hometown.
"I don't think he can walk anywhere in this town or this county," said council member Debora Fudge.
"He ruined it himself and it's sad, but many people have been affected, lives damaged and he needs to stay away from us," said Fudge.
Foppoli had become a political pariah and a recall effort, poised to collect signatures, is now moot.
On June 2, the council is expected to move another member into the Mayor's slot, and discuss how to fill an empty seat, either by appointment or special election.
Foppoli has not been charged with any crimes with several investigations underway.
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