Disgraced Windsor mayor Dominic Foppoli is now an outcast in his hometown after allegations of sexual assault
The Vipianas were close friends of the Foppolis, singing with them in the Coro Allegro, a Santa Rosa ensemble.
“My heart hurts now,” said Vipiana of the Foppoli clan, “because no matter what direction it takes, it’s going to be horrible for them.
Vipiana exerted an early political influence on Dominic, but takes no credit for his decision to run for State Assembly in 2004, as a 21-year-old senior in the Dominican Republic. He was beaten in the Republican primary by a Cloverdale breeder named Ray Tyrone, who, despite the patchy victory, still seems scarred 17 years later by his contact with the Foppolis.
“They really harassed me,” recalled Tyrone, who lost in the general election to Democrat Patty Berg. “They said I steal money from old people, cut down my property, run an illegal bar – it was all total bulls —- t.”
While Tyrone was an outsider, he said, Foppoli was seen as a rising star in the Republican Party – “21 years old and stupid as hell, but he was going to take over the world.”
Fast forward almost a dozen years, to 2015, when in his first full year as a Windsor city councilor, he appeared on national television, competing with six other guys from the Steve Harvey show for the title of Mr. California. Although the show’s female audience chose someone else, Foppoli had long cultivated her identity as one of Wine Country’s most eligible singles.
For a 2010 fundraiser called “One Night”, organized by the winemakers of the Russian River Valley, he auctioned off a lot called “Get Around With Dominic”, which included a private plane ride and then a test drive of a new Audi at Infineon Raceway, followed by lunch at Foppoli vineyards.
Two years later, he auctioned off again for charity, during the Valentine’s Day Heart Affair in Santa Rosa, where someone paid $ 2,000 for a date with him.
“I absolutely want to settle down in a year or two and have a family,” he told The Press Democrat in 2015, after appearing on Steve Harvey’s show. “Hopefully this will happen soon. Part of this is figuring out who I’m going to marry. I have to find the right girl. “
Foppoli failed in his first run for Windsor City Council in 2006. The Windsor Times reported on October 30 of the same year that the 24-year-old had exaggerated his experience, claiming to be a White House staff member and a “political analyst / adviser to the Presidential Office for Drug Policy at Washington, DC “
As it turned out, Foppoli was not a White House staff member, but rather an intern who worked there for a little over two months. According to the article, Foppoli attributed the exaggerations to the enthusiasm of the young people and the desire to serve the community.
In 2014, after two years as Windsor’s town planning commissioner, Foppoli won a seat on the city council, whose members were mostly mayor. Two years later, the youngest council member in Windsor history informed then council member Bruce Okrepkie that he would like to become mayor. Foppoli was planning to attend the 2016 Republican National Convention in Indianapolis, and “thought it would be nice,” Okrepkie said, if he could tell people at the convention that he was mayor, rather than ‘a simple board member.
“I told him that’s not how it works,” Okrepkie said. When it was finally Foppoli’s turn to be mayor at the end of 2017, her fellow council members postponed the promotion, concerned about an email sent to Councilor Deb Fudge accusing Foppoli of sexual misconduct.
The writer recounted that, while she was invited to her cellar in 2013, Foppoli invited herself to join her with her seven friends on a night out. She said in her letter that Foppoli kept supplementing women’s drinks and at one point tried to take off her friend’s swimsuit. In one recent interview with the Chronicle, the woman went further, saying that Foppoli forced his penis into her hand in a hot tub. He denied this account.
The email prompted the Windsor council to voice concerns about Foppoli in a closed-door meeting and then put him on time, which made him wait another year to be mayor. He didn’t share the email with law enforcement until early 2020, when another email came in hinting at reports of multiple sexual assault charges to which the mayor was faced.
By then, however, Foppoli had achieved his ambitions as mayor twice, selected by his council members for the first post at the end of 2018 and again in 2019. To celebrate, he ordered polo shirts including the logo identified him, by name, as the mayor of Windsor. “I’ve been mayor three times,” Okrepkie said, “and I’ve known a lot of other mayors, and no one had a shirt that said their name and ‘mayor of Windsor’.”