On Tuesday night, High School Sophomore Sophia Amezcua had 51-minutes to speak during public comments at the Antioch City Council Meeting.
This came as 17-residents yielded their public comment time which allowed Amezcua the opportunity to read a 44-page report regarding a sexual harassment settlement involving Antioch Mayor Lamar Thrope. The settlement occurred in Thorpe’s role as executive director of the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District.
The incident prompted the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors to vote on a $350k settlement with the two females as a result of two women who resigned from their positions at the healthcare district due to sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances, hostile working conditions, and other unlawful actions resulting from Executive Director Lamar Thorpe’s misconduct, and the District’s inaction, despite having knowledge of that misconduct. The settlement did state there was no admission of guilt.
Supervisor Karen Mitchoff defended the settlement citing savings in litigation costs and a potentially higher jury award. Without getting into specifics, Mitchoff said the county had credible evidence to settle this claim.
Here is the full 44-page report: Confidential Investigative Report submitted April 12 2022 (REDACTED)
According to the document, all three allegations were sustained.
- One June 11, 2021, Executive Director Lamar Thorpe grabbed Jocelyn Munoz bare leg while they were at a bar, and commented that it was sexual harassment
- Executive Director Lamar Thorpe made inappropriate comments to Jocelyn Munoz.
- Executive Director Lamar Thorpe made inappropriate and vulgar comments to Jasmine Cisneros, then grabbed her buttock, while at a work conference in Monterey.
- Jasmine Cisneros: Cisneros answered all questions completely and without hesitation. Cisneros was appropriately emotional when describing events. She provided text messages and screenshots of her Facebook account which corroborated her statement:
- Jocelyn Munoz: Munoz answered all questions completely and without hesitation. Munoz provided text messages which corroborated her statements. She did not appear to have any motive to fabricate her statement.
- Lamar Thorpe: Thorpe was vague in his responses, and at several points in the interview did not respond to the question asked. Several of his statements were contradicted by other statements and evidence provided, such as the text messages.
Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica and Councilmember Lori Ogorchock have called for Mayor Lamar Thorpe to resign while councilmember Monica Wilson called this a “witch hunt” and Tamisha Torres-Walker has remained silent.
- Oct. 12: After Agreeing to Special Meeting to Censure Antioch Mayor, Wilson Opts Out
- Sept. 27: Editorial: Stop Giving Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe a Free Pass
- Sept. 20: Supervisor Mitchoff Defends County Settlement in Claim Against LMCHD and Lamar Thorpe
- Sept. 19: Lacey Ferguson Issues 24-Minute Statement Regarding Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe
- Sept. 19: Letter: Sandra White Calls on Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe to Resign
- Sept. 18: Antioch City Clerk Issues Open Letter to Antioch Regarding Mayor Lamar Thorpe
- Sept. 18: Letter: Diane Gibson-Gray Calls on Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe to Resign
- Sept. 16: Councilmembers Ask Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe to Resign
- Sept. 15: Contra Costa County Settles Sexual Harassment Claims Involving Lamar Thorpe
Mayor Thorpe seems to have been involved with another questionable practice when he was the executive director of the Los Medanos Community Healthcare District. Upon investigating the district, Contra Costa LAFCo found that the benefits received by the administrators were excessive. That led to Contra Costa County taking over the operations of the District.
I’m curious. What was the body language of Mr. Thorpe and his Council allies during this reading? Or did Mr. Thorpe find a “scheduling conflict” and not attend?
Some audience members posted photos & video clips in comments.
He was on his phone mostly. But was at times smirking at Sophia, glaring at audience members, and making exaggerated faces of distain.
Torres-Walker got up and walked out when Sophia began reading.
Wilson, Ogorchock, and Barbanica sat quietly from what I saw, but I wasn’t paying much attention to them.
It was clear some in the audience had not read the report.
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