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8 things to know about Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli, who is facing sexual assault allegations

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can contact:

Family Justice Center of Sonoma County: 707-565-8255

Verity: 707-545-7273

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673

Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli has been accused of sexual assault by four women, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

The allegations from 2003 to 2019 coincide with Foppoli’s rise as a local politician and businessman.

Here are eight things to know about Foppoli’s background.

1.) Foppoli, 38, who grew up in Windsor, is part of a family of winemakers.

2.) After graduating from Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa and receiving his bachelor’s degree in government from Dominican University, he obtained a master’s in business from Sonoma State University.

3.) Foppoli is the co-owner of Christopher Creek Winery with his brother, Joe Foppoli, and childhood friend, Liam McCormick. He co-founded Foppoli Wines as well as Benevolo Wines and Old Redwood Brewing Company, both of which are now closed.

4) He ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly while he was still in college and served on the Windsor Planning Commission before he was first elected to the council in 2014. On Tuesday, he was appointed by the Board of Supervisors to represent Sonoma County on the Golden Gate Bridge District board of directors.

5.) Foppoli received national exposure as a Windsor councilman in 2015 when he competed for the title of Mr. California on the “Steve Harvey” show. The contest featured a half-dozen other bare-chested, brawny men, save for Foppoli, who appeared in a tank top.

Windsor Town Councilman Dominic Foppoli is shown on the Steve Harvey Show as one of several single men vying for the coveted title of 'Mr. California.' (SteveHarveyTV.com)
Windsor Town Councilman Dominic Foppoli is shown on the Steve Harvey Show as one of several single men vying for the coveted title of 'Mr. California.' (SteveHarveyTV.com)

6.) Foppoli was first appointed Windsor mayor by fellow council members in 2018. A year later, he was reappointed in a 3-2 vote to serve for another year. The decision to not follow unofficial precedent and select Vice Mayor Deb Fudge or Councilwoman Esther Lemus, who would’ve become the town’s first Latina mayor, sparked controversy over the barriers faced by women and people of color.

7.) In 2019, Windsor switched from at-large elections to district-based contests for council seats under a threat of a lawsuit that claimed Latino voters were being disenfranchised. The town opted for a directly elected mayor’s post and in the inaugural race in 2020 Foppoli prevailed with 45% of the vote, beating out three opponents.

8.) After he was re-elected as mayor, Foppoli said he wanted to “unite the town.” He was the subject of public backlash immediately before the election for traveling and campaigning while awaiting COVID-19 test results. The tests later came back as positive.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can contact:

Family Justice Center of Sonoma County: 707-565-8255

Verity: 707-545-7273

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 800-656-4673

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