Smith: Onetime wunderkind Efren Carrillo should step down

  • Supervisor Efren Carrillo talks with the press after not guilty verdicts were handed down on all counts on Carrillo's peeking trial, Monday April 28, 2014, in Sonoma County Superior Court. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

I helped to create Efren Carrillo Jr.

All I mean by that is that stories I and my PD colleagues wrote about Carrillo when he was in his 20s and sharply ascendent contributed to his public persona as someone clearly extraordinary and going places.

Here are quotes and observations from early stories that former reporters Rayne Wolfe and Chris Coursey and I wrote about the son of once-undocumented immigrants who distinguished himself rapidly at Santa Rosa High School, in martial arts, at Cal and then in Sonoma County business/political circles:

"He's ... one of the community's brightest young stars."

"He just blew me away in terms of his maturity, his delivery."

"Smart, smooth, he handles himself just beautifully."

As a student struck by all that his parents did for him and his siblings, Carrillo resolved, "I'm not going to disappoint them."

Every word we wrote about the young man who spent most of his first 5 years in Mexico and at just 27 was elected to the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors was true. Since then, circumstances have confirmed that far lesser assessments of aspects of his character also are true.

THE DUST HAS SETTLED from the criminal-court trial that found Carrillo not guilty of peeping into a female neighbor's apartment, but left no doubt that what he did shortly before 4 a.m. last July 13 was despicable and darkly revealing.

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