The Sonoma Clean Power Board of Directors on Thursday will consider requesting the removal of Supervisor Efren Carrillo from the startup public power agency he championed before his arrest and acquittal on charges that he attempted to peek into a female neighbor’s home last year.
David Rabbitt, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, has the sole authority to unilaterally remove Carrillo, and the Sonoma Clean Power board could ask Rabbitt to take that step.
Thursday’s discussion comes after the Santa Rosa City Council last month voted unanimously to ask that Carrillo be removed from the Sonoma Clean Power board. That action followed a call in May for Carrillo’s resignation from his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors.
Some officials say Carrillo’s presence on Sonoma Clean Power’s board is a distraction for the agency that began serving customers in May.
“This is a wonderful new startup, and we don’t need any controversy,” said Santa Rosa City Councilwoman Julie Combs, one of two Santa Rosa officials on the Sonoma Clean Power board. “It’s a clean power agency. We need to not have any dirty business.”
Carrillo has not addressed questions about his future on the power agency and did not return a phone message left with his office Tuesday. He has adamantly rejected calls seeking his resignation from the Board of Supervisors.
The 33-year-old 5th District supervisor was acquitted in April of attempted peeking charges stemming from his predawn arrest last July outside a female neighbor’s home. In the aftermath of his trial, and even before its conclusion, Carrillo has sought to reclaim many of his public duties and roles while also staking out new ones.
But his admissions from the stand about his drinking and hope of having sex with his neighbor, a near stranger, have diminished his standing among fellow elected officials and tainted what once seemed a bright future in public office.
Carrillo missed the first Sonoma Clean Power meeting after his trial. Supervisor Mike McGuire attended the May 1 gathering in his place to ceremonially switch on service to the agency’s first wave of customers. At that meeting, the board asked staff to schedule time at its June meeting to discuss asking for Carrillo’s removal. Due to the death of board member Michael Kyes, a Sebastopol councilman, and the absence of two board members, the discussion was put off until Thursday.
The eight-member Sonoma Clean Power board is made up of elected officials from Sonoma County and the participating cities of Santa Rosa, Windsor, Cotati, Sonoma and Sebastopol.
It can only remove an appointed board member if he or she misses three consecutive meetings or discloses confidential information, according to agency bylaws.
Thursday’s discussion could be moot if any of the three holdout cities of Petaluma, Rohnert Park or Cloverdale decide to join Sonoma Clean Power. In that case, Sonoma County and Santa Rosa would each lose one representative on the board. The agency is actively courting those three cities and if any join, Carrillo is the county official most likely to lose his seat.
The other county official, Supervisor Susan Gorin, chairwoman of the Sonoma Clean Power board, said she is looking forward to the discussion and isn’t sure whether she will vote for a resolution seeking Carrillo’s removal.