By MARTIN ESPINOZA
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
When the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors meets next Tuesday, 5th District Supervisor Efren Carrillo’s colleagues will likely levy their harshest public criticism yet of the shamed politician, possibly laying the groundwork for a concerted effort to pressure him out of office.
The board has reserved a spot during its meeting for members to denounce “conduct unbecoming of public officials,” according to an agenda posted this week for the upcoming meeting.
The focus will be Carrillo’s criminal trial, which ended Monday when a jury found him not guilty of attempted peeking on a neighbor. But it will also reveal the scope of the challenges Carrillo faces as he attempts to resume his job in public office and rebuild his political career.
One colleague, 3rd District Supervisor Shirlee Zane, has already taken to Facebook to call on Carrillo to resign.
“He terrorized a woman in the middle of the night when she was most vulnerable and he didn’t know her — how would any woman want to sit with a man that did that, to sit and have to make decisions with him?” Zane said Thursday. “How would anybody in their right mind?”
Zane would not reveal the specifics of what she plans to say on Tuesday, only that it would be a strong condemnation of the behavior Carrillo himself laid out in testimony during the trial. She said Carrillo’s testimony may have helped him win over the jury, but it convinced her that he has no place on the board.
“It might have cleared him of those particular charges but it didn’t clear up what happened that night,” she said.
Carrillo, who said immediately after the jury verdict that he would not resign, has not returned telephone calls seeking comment over the last three days.
Supervisor Susan Gorin, who represents the 1st District, said Thursday that she will also strongly condemn Carrillo for his behavior.
“As a woman, I find this behavior totally egregious and offensive to me on every level,” Gorin said.
During the trial, Carrillo testified that his girlfriend dropped him off at home at about 2:30 a.m. on the night of his arrest. Carrillo said he noticed a light on in his neighbor’s kitchen and wanted to share a beer with the woman, with the hope of having sex with her. He told police at the scene he didn’t remember her name.
Carrillo admitted he stuck his hand through a window screen while attempting to knock on the woman’s bedroom window. The neighbor, identified in court as Jane Doe, testified that she was terrified when Carrillo ripped the screen on her window, rousing her from her sleep.
Gorin would not discuss in detail what she plans to say or whether she will join Zane in calling for Carrillo’s resignation.
“I will save that particular comment for my comments on Tuesday,” Gorin said. “We’re very limited on the actions that we can take and I think we’ll have that discussion on Tuesday.”
Zane said official actions include censuring Carrillo, a formal admonishment for his behavior, and a resolution that calls on him to resign. Gorin said the board is likely to have a discussion about Carrillo’s board assignments and “what’s appropriate” for him.
“I think I will come out with a very strong statement condemning his actions, and speak about the concerns I have about his behavior,” said Gorin.
Asked if she can work with Carrillo in the future, Gorin said only that “I intend to talk about the challenges that we’ve had in the past nine months working together … and suggest that those challenges remain.”
Supervisor Mike McGuire, who represents the 4th District, also declined to discuss actions he supports taking against Carrillo.
“All options are going to be on the table,” McGuire said. “I’ll be prepared to speak out at the board meeting on Tuesday about my recommendations.”
Asked what these recommendations or options are likely to be, McGuire said “I can’t predict where the board is going to go Tuesday. Personally, I believe the behavior was unacceptable and shameful. The board will be having a sincere discussion about this specific issue on Tuesday.”
Board Chairman David Rabbitt did not return calls Thursday for comment.