Regardless of how his court case turns out, embattled Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo may face judgment by voters in a recall effort mounted by a powerful labor organization, a liberal political group or a combined effort by both entities.
Legal proceedings against the 32-year-old west county supervisor are on hold for six weeks, following a judge's approval Friday of the prosecution's second request for a delay in filing charges, this time until Oct. 11.
Carrillo, who was arrested by Santa Rosa police on suspicion of prowling and burglary in mid-July, returned to official duties two weeks ago. He has kept a low profile, declining interviews and curtailing his once-vigorous level of public appearances.
He did not return calls to his district office Friday, and his cellphone voice message mailbox was full Saturday.
Legal experts have suggested that the case against Carrillo may be weak and that prosecutors especially may struggle to sustain a felony conviction that would automatically remove him from office.
But a recall campaign — the only other way to displace a California elected official — rests on the ability of Carrillo's critics to mount such an effort, which could cost up to $250,000. The ultimate decision would be made by voters.
Within the next three weeks, the North Bay Labor Council's executive board will meet, most likely on a conference call, to consider a recall, said Jack Buckhorn, president of the council, which includes 65affiliated unions and labor groups.
Buckhorn said that meeting would occur prior to the board's next scheduled meeting on Sept. 25.
Council officials are working on a budget for a possible recall "in terms of time and money," Buckhorn said Friday.
If the executive board opts to back a recall, the matter would be put to a vote by the council's affiliates, he said.
A month ago, the labor council and the Sonoma, Lake & Mendocino Building and Construction Trades Council jointly called on Carrillo to resign, and Buckhorn said at the time they would await the supervisor's Friday court date to decide on a recall.
The call for a resignation was not based on the outcome of a criminal prosecution, Buckhorn said Friday.
"We believe his resignation is in order based on his bad behavior and poor judgment," he said.
Carrillo was arrested in the early morning of July 13 after a woman called 911 to report someone outside her home near Stony Point Road and West Third Street.
She reported someone tried to get into her bedroom window. The woman called 911 again 10minutes later to say the person had knocked on her front door, identified himself as a neighbor and ran away.
Officers arrived and found a torn window screen. Carrillo was in the area, clad in just socks and underwear, carrying a cellphone. He was arrested when he could not provide a clear explanation for his behavior, police said.
At the time, police said they believed he planned to commit some type of sexual assault, but they haven't said what led to that conclusion.
Officers have said that Carrillo appeared intoxicated during their early morning questioning but not drunk on a level that would make it unlawful. They did not test his drunkenness in the field or measure his blood-alcohol content.