On Sunday, Antioch resident and former advocate and volunteer of Mayor Lamar Thorpe issued a 24-minute video statement regarding recent allegations made against the mayor.
Within the 24-minute video, Lacey Ferguson stated the following:
- It takes bravery to come forward
- She believed the two women who came froward at the Los Medanos healthcare District and received a $350k settlement over sexual harassment and unwanted sexual advancements
- Says Thorpe called two women who filed lawsuit “little ghetto girls”
- Says she made excuses and defended Thorpe for too long.
- Admits unethical behavior but ends justified the means for “greater good”
- Admits to having sex with Thorpe multiple times
- Says while Thorpe had been drinking he smacked and grabbed her butt in front of other elected officials
- Says Thorpe while drunk tried to put his hand down her pants.
- Ferguson says night of DUI she was coming from Thorpes home
- Interim City Manager Con Johnson attempted to locate her vehicle after DUI arrest.
- Alleges Thorpe ran campaign of Antioch PIO Rolando Bonilla in San Jose.
- Says its known Thorpe sleeps with young interns or assistant and people around the city—including reaching out to High School girls, but unaware of actual illegal activity.
- Do what Thorpe wants or you are retaliated against
- Alleges Thorpe sabotages Torres-Walker plan for public safety department after her “no vote” on HomeKey.
- Alleges Thorpe is using cocaine
- Alleges stealing money
- Alleges illegal behavior
- Alleges misusing campaign funds with he and Rolando Bonilla
Here is the full context/transcript of what was said.
I had some conversations this morning with some trusted friends and colleagues and yesterday a statement of mine was recorded and after these conversations this morning I felt like I owed everyone a little more of a genuine delivery, despite that the statement was my own and written by me. I feel like I feel like I would like to deliver this in a different way. So I am going to be reading that statement and adding some things here.
A lot of people who hop on this live are not going to like what I am saying. However, I had a conversation this morning which I was told something I already felt, a lot of us have accountability in this situation that needs to be addressed and taken by us, and I agree with that. So, I hope that anyone who tunes into this live, including those who do not like me, do not agree with me personally, only take what I say here, not chop it up, mix up what I am saying or take bits and pieces and hope that you listen to the entire thing. I know its going to be a lot. But it is important that this information gets relayed accurately. Its important to me that this not be skewed in any way. So if you are tuning in, I appreciate that and hope you listen to the entire thing.
I am going to start by reading the statement that I had written.
I felt inclined to come on to my community in light of recent events in my community involving our mayor Lamar Thorpe and the settlement granted to two victims of sexual harassment who used to work for him at the Healthcare District.
No matter what my relationship is with him, in reality, to the public, I am closely affiliated to him and I feel like it’s my responsibility to address this situation rather than staying silent like I imagine many people surrounding him will do.
First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge the experiences of these two women. I know in the coming days they are likely to experience backlash that is unfair and unwarranted. It takes bravery to come forward on something like this considering his position at his former place of employment and our city.
I’d also like to start by apologizing because myself have made excuses and defended Lamar for a long time. We have not only stood behind him but assisted in furthering his position to get him to the powerful place that he is today. I know in many private conversation I have had with the may women who surround him they feel guilt, shame and responsibility for this which is unfair because he should be the one facing accountability for his actions.
I wanted to validate the women coming forward and bound to join them in the coming days by speaking on the culture and history of misogyny that does surround Lamar.
There has always been an accepted knowledge about him who is closely affiliated. We have likened him to getting a degree in women’s studies to taking a narcissist to therapy. They get the tips, tricks to use and tern around and use them against you.
Everyone is well aware that he sleeps with every young intern or assistant he has or plenty other people within the city—he jokes about this. Several people have come to be saying how he would direct message them and text them while they are in high school or ask for the names or numbers underage asking for them to be invited to events where he would be but I was never aware of any actual illegal activity so this was always a running joke I was ware of but was uncomfortable with but never said anything about. This makes me even more ashamed to continue with the things I am about to share.
Myself and Lamar have had a very rocky existence at many different levels of interaction. We have been acquaintances, professional collaborators, enemies and friends more than that throughout different times throughout the past couple of years. So many times those of us working together with Lamar that were questionable, not completely unethical were able to rationalized this because we believed the ends justified the means. All of this for us was for what we believed the greater good.
It isn’t a secret that I have publicly spoken out about behavior I didn’t agree with to unhoused residents services, police reform, and other matters. He and I were not on good terms for a period of time after I tweeted about something he and I disagree about up until about February of this year.
I was originally defensive of Lamar when it come to allegations of sexual misconduct. For one, when I was made aware of the sexual harassment allegations against him, I asked him about them and he had stated that these women had been caught stealing money from the Los Medanos Healthcare District and were fired for such and had only concocted this story after their termination to save their own asses and described them, as quote, little ghetto girls.
I myself have had consensual sex interactions with Lamar where he was never aggressive, violent or pressuring me in any way. I got to thinking about how that initiated when I read the full statement in the news from these women over the last couple days from these women and all of it sounded all too familiar and immediately knew these women were telling the truth.
I attended a fundraiser for Monica Wilson at Monicas Riverview, the restaurant. I showed up late and in scrubs as I had just come from outreach and was irritated when I realized Lamar was still there because I didn’t have the patience to deal with him that day. We had been not been getting along for a couple of months if not longer. When the event ended we had all gone over to the bar side of the restaurant and he tried to pay for a drink of mine and I threw his cash back at him. He tried to convince me to dance with him and I chalked this up to him being drunk and I didn’t respond.
As we all were lined up by the door to go to Legends, another bar in Antioch, he loudly said something along the lines of Lacey walking around with all that ass and used both his hands to smack and grab my butt. He did this in front of several elected officials and city affiliated people who just looked at me waiting to say something. I rolled my eyes and gave him jousting shove in the chest and we all just left. In hindsight this of course was an issue, but like I said, this is accepted knowledge about Lamar that he is just like that and he was drunk and when Lamar is drunk he says and does dumb things because we all do.
We all left to Legends and he and I both got drunk, we went out to the dance floor a couple of times and once our colleagues left he kissed me at the bar. I knew he was more intoxicated than I was so I told him he needed to sober up and talk to me tomorrow. He walked me to my car where we kissed again and he tried to put his hands down my pants but I stopped him. The next day he texted me something along the lines of its tomorrow, its sober Lamar and I am still thinking about you.
That evening, I went over to his house and he and I had sex, casual sex. Maybe five times between then and his DUI. I’d like to make it very clear that every sexual interaction between Lamar and I was 100% consensual and I am not claiming to be a victim of anything. I am simply trying to provide context as to why I believe these women and to despite his response will likely be to them if any their experience was not an isolated incident.
The behavior on his end is the same but the difference is some of us return his advances and some do not. These women having been fired from their jobs for doing the later. Anyone who knows Lamar finds themselves in that predicament in a lot of different situations. You do what he wants, whether that is politically or otherwise, or you are punished for it. The attribute that he is most proud of is self admittingly is his pettiness and his ability to get revenge.
The night of his DUI I missed a text from him that said HELP while he was at CHP. A couple hours later around 6:00 am I got a call from another member of city council asking if I knew where he was because they had gotten the same text. I drove to his and I spoke to him
He was upset, it hadn’t hit the news yet but he knew it was about to. He was saying things about my career is over, everything was over. I told him it was going to be okay, I left, Henry Lee was calling him for a statement.
That morning I parted with another person close to him to have some of our friends over to cheer him up a bit, he was in really bad spirits that day and we just want him to know he had support. We got trays of food, his closest people surprised him at his house as he came home from an event.
I drank way too much, which is my own responsibility and nobody else’s, and I was arrested for a DUI after leaving his house later that evening. He was afraid of anyone finding out where I had been coming from of course. He said he had interim city manager Con Johnson calling around to impound lots trying to figure out where they had towed my car. I told him that was probably a bad idea and he agreed.
I appreciated him being helpful because I was really embarrassed what had happened and the timing of it all as it was the same day as his DUI. I had previously done some work for him for Rolando Bonilla city council campaign down in San Jose which he was running. Some of which I had previously refused payment for. He offered to pay me money to help me get a car temporarily and he dropped the money off to my house for me. He told me not to talk to anyone or make any statements but I did want to take accountability so I did make the statement online anyway.
He called up a mutual connection of ours, an attorney I had worked with through my non-profit organization, and someone he knows personally. He explained my situation and offered to help me out. She and I arranged for me to sign a retainer agreement for to represent me once charges for my DUI came about. I really appreciated this gesture from him.
A few weeks later I began helping Lamar as a paid volunteer for his anti-recall campaign. He was focused on being the campaign manager for Rolando in San Jose and was traveling there daily.
During this time, a vote was set to occur by city council regarding HomeKey application for transitional housing funds. Andrew Becker and I approached Tamisha Torres-Walker to hear us out before voting despite Lamar had expected a yes vote from her to push it through. She was kind enough to give us time and attend a meeting that we set up. She concluded that from this meeting that further investigation into an additional potential site needed to be done and to Lamar surprised she voted no at the meeting.
In immediate retaliation he abstained from a vote for the department of public safety, something she had been working on and very important to her.
Shortly prior to that meeting I had a meeting with Councilmember Lori Ogorchock which I had mentioned that when it comes to Lamar none of us really have a choice. We either do what he wants or he punishes those who go against him. She mentioned I contribute to enabling him and I agreed with her.
He and I spoke after he abstained from the vote with Tamisha and I expressed my distaste for the behavior he had shown toward her. He said it was political and that is how things get done. I said, respectfully, I don’t support behavior like that and I dropped off all the t-shirts, signs, campaign materials on his front porch. I was determined to not continue to enable him despite knowing me and my assistants mean nothing to him and likely wouldn’t make a difference anyway.
The next morning, I received a text message from a mutual connection, the attorney I had been speaking with and had planned to represent him. She let me know, due to quote, capacity at her office, suddenly, would be unable to represent me. I wholeheartedly believe this was the work of Lamar and taking away his third vote.
It was after this for the final time I said I was done with the game we all play dodging and ducking the wrath of Lamar. Nearly every mutual friend of ours has expressed similar sentiments as me but they are forced to continue playing the game. The thing is when you are loyal to no one like he is no one is loyal to you either. So many disgusting things he was saying and doing were repeated back to me and I was sick about it. I still continue to defend him in some ways.
One of our mutual friends after this told me that his increasing erratic and concerning behavior was due to multitude of things, including use of cocaine, allegedly stealing money, engaging in illegal behavior, misusing campaign funds from both he and Rolando Bonilla campaigns and to this day I am not sure any of that is true and I don’t know if it is. This video would be way to long to go into it all.
But it is here where I began to watch the unraveling of the person I know to be Lamar.
I was at Ellie’s house (Ellie Householder) someone who I perceived to be his closest friend and ally when the news broke about the overturning of Roe vs Wade. When Lamar made his post the initial caption he made made the situation about the Karens of Antioch, his recall, blamed the only female Supreme Court Judge contributing to its overturning. His post was the first thing that popped up on my Instagram feed and it was how I actually learned about the decision.
Ellie called him to recommend that he change his caption to focus on those more directly impacted and less on himself. He met her with such hostility, that she stood in his kitchen with tears asking him to please not do this when it came to speaking to her and treating her the way that he was. She knew it would be a final nail in the coffin that was already damaged relationship. I heard him almost laugh at her told her telling her she was being hysterical of all words to use and hang up on her. I was so appalled.
In the coming weeks I saw the lengths he was willing to go to retaliate against Ellie for distancing herself from him and I was truly shocked. As I mentioned, we all knew who and what he was but seeing it in action in such a blatant way was disturbing. I also began to hear from so many people he had harmed people were slowly coming together and following the lead of those distancing themselves from him.
These peoples stories are not mine to tell and if they choose to come forward then I fully encourage and support them to do so if they feel comfortable.
I know that he will not resign because he and I have had a conversation about that before in which he told me there would be nothing that could ever make him do so. However, what I am asking for here is for the people who know about everything I am referencing in this video and more to stop sheltering and defend him.
We need to stop rallying around him and speak out and it is all of our responsibility to do so at this point as we have created the situation that we are in currently.
I would like to also make it clear that people that use racist and bigoted attacks against Lamar are the ones who have created the hostile environment that has not been a safe place for these two women to come forward.
Between Lamar and people like the proponents of the recall against him our city has been polarized into two groups. You are either 100% in support of Lamar or you are with the racist coming after him for the wrong reasons—no room has been left for legitimate criticisms and he is able to use this as a weapon against those who wish to speak out in disagreement. I already know all the responses this is going to get before this will happen and I would like everyone to understand the part that they play in the reason that these things have been able to continue happening.
What I wanted to add to that statement is that there is protecting a person and there is also protecting the progressive change that has happened in the city that is important and shouldn’t be effected by personal decisions of somebody who played a part in that change and a lot of the time you will see people either be silent or rally around and its often times its about protecting the initiatives they have worked on that shouldn’t be effected than it is about them personally. And, I do not disagree with people that say people like Lori Ogorchock or Mike Barbanica are being opportunistic and fostering a culture of this being used as number one a distraction and number two to bring down initiatives and people this doesn’t have to do with.
People should be held accountable for their actions no matter what their position they hold whether in a company, a city, in a community. It doesn’t matter. But at the same time, when the majority of people coming to support you, we are already motivated by race to dislike this person, it does discredit what you are saying. I am not going to be shocked when an entire community comes out in defense of him and his actions because it does feel like an attack on black elected officials, it does feel like an attack on progressive change and that is not what this should be.
No matter what or no matter who is in those positions there is progressive change that needs to happen in this city and there are things that need to get done. And there are people who are wiling to do that no matter who it is they have to work with. I don’t think this situation, I think its just as predatory to use this situation and the experiences of women to bring down an entire progressive movement in a city and the people who support that progressive movement.
If you are someone who is running for office and you have come out and use this to come after Monica (Wilson) or Tamisha (Torres-Walker) or another elected official. You are being just misogynistic or problematic as the people who you are criticizing. I think this is a complicated situation, its not a position that anybody wants to be in but at the end of the day the only person who should be responsible is the person who has been perpetrating abuse against women and its very clear who that is.
Politically grandstanding on sexual harassment experiences of women to further your political agenda is not acceptable either. I do want to make that very clear because I know already how this video is going to be taken and spun. I have already seen how Ellie Householders statement has been taken and spun and I just think its very wrong. Its all wrong.
I did feel like its my responsibility to speak out on my perspective, my experience to validate the fact that this is just some baseless allegation in my opinion based on the fact that I’ve known this person, I’ve watched the behavior of this person and I have watched the ways that everyone surrounding this person defends that behavior for a long time.
That is not the only story that I have heard that sounds exactly like that one. When I read the statements of those women I immediately knew that they were telling the truth because I’ve heard that story from many different women mouths and the difference between my experience and theirs is that I reciprocated and they did not. I did not work for him and they did.
So, I did want to say something specific to Monica Wilson because coming out in the East Bay Times with a statement essentially just claiming that this is just another racist attack against Lamar, that is not being a champion for women and believing women.
Your entire career and platform is built on supporting survivors of sexual and domestic violence and I think it is about time that you join the people around him that are not willing to defend and protect this anymore. By calling people all kinds of names which I am not disagreeing against the criticisms against Lori and Mike because I do think they are being opportunistic and being very predatory that they supported the recall because it benefited them personally, but when it comes to just think about the people who had these experiences who are watching all of our statements for or against Lamar there are women who have had these experiences with him who are watching these and they are reading those statements and they are reading these and I want you to imagine how they feel.
That is what is important and at the end of the day the work that gets done in the city is what is important. One thing that Mike and Lori are right about is that this is a distraction. Someone who is dangerous and someone who is predatory towards women being in office is not only wrong, but it is a distraction to the things that need to get done and its bringing down people and other candidates who will make positive change in this community that we need and are advocates for people who are needed in this community.
I am just urging everyone to be more centered and focused around the people who are impacted by this situation and less included to make there statement politically acceptable or just stay silent because I am tired of it.
I know a lot of people are going to be angry with me for putting out this video and I accepted that a long time ago because at the end of the day it doesn’t matter because I believe this is the right thing and its about time people stop protecting someone who hurts people. And for the record, if you are someone who I referenced as someone who has been hurt in other ways and you do want to come forward, I want you to understand that there are people who believe you and there are people who will support you. Not everyone is going to continue standing behind this person and it is safe for you to tell the truth.
I know that it can be scary when someone so powerful is so willing to ruin your reputation and take away things like your financial stability or other ways that he has threatened you because I know the ways he has threatened you. That is really scary. I know I am no one significant but I wanted to come forward just to say I will believe you. And I do. I’ll do everything I can to make sure that your experience is just carted off as some, this person just wants to attack the mayor or hop on the bandwagon or anything because I know a lot of these stories to be true.
That is my statement. I am sure the rest of my day will be really fun. Thank you everyone for listening to the end and ya, thanks.”