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Sonoma Supervisors Censure Efren Carrillo, Urge Him To Resign After Peeking Trial

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Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo. (County of Sonoma)

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo. (County of Sonoma)

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SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — The Sonoma County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday censured the actions of Supervisor Efren Carrillo and told him he should resign his 5th District seat because of an incident at a female neighbor’s apartment in July.

Carrillo, 33, informed the board and the public at the start of the three-hour hearing that he has no intention to resign. His announcement was met with both applause and boos. Carrillo’s term ends in 2016.

The supervisor was acquitted on April 28 of misdemeanor attempting to peek in his neighbor’s Santa Rosa apartment on July 13. The jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of acquittal on a misdemeanor charge of peeking.

Supervisor Shirlee Zane was the most adamant of the four board members to call for Carrillo to resign. She said Carrillo lost the public’s trust and she urged him to step down for the good of the county and himself.

“I call for your resignation,” Zane said.

Supervisors Susan Gorin and Mike McGuire asked Carrillo to resign and board chair David Rabbitt said he would resign if he were in Carrillo’s situation and asked Carrillo to consider doing so.

The board members said they believed it would be difficult to work with Carrillo until his term expires.

During his trial, Carrillo testified he went to the woman’s apartment to drink and to possibly have sex with her. He denied looking into her windows but admitted putting his hand through a screen over her bedroom window.

Carrillo blamed his alcoholism and his ego for his behavior. He entered an alcoholic treatment facility for several weeks after he was arrested and returned to the board in August, when he made a public apology.

At the beginning of Tuesday’s meeting, Carrillo said his honesty and candor during his testimony “contributed to this recent firestorm” to resign.

He said he regrets his actions, has publicly apologized and will apologize to his neighbor, identified only as Jane Doe, privately in a letter.

The board can’t force Carrillo to resign. Voters in his district could recall him in a special election or choose not to re-elect him should he run again for a third term on the board.

About 50 people spoke on the issue during a public comment period that lasted more than two hours at Tuesday’s meeting. About a dozen members of the public urged Carrillo to stay on the board.

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