Esther Lemus, a Town Councilwoman in Windsor, CA, is the First Latina elected to a Council Seat in Town History
Esther Lemus is an attorney and current Town Councilmember in Windsor, California. As the first Latina elected to a Council seat in its history, Esther also previously served on school boards and participated in programs designed to keep kids in school and reduce gang violence. She co-hosts two podcasts: Outside Slants and SportsMeatsBeer.
Multiple women have come forward over the past year to accuse former Windsor Mayor Dominic Foppoli of sexual assault; his resignation came effective May 1, with former Vice Mayor Sam Salmon taking over until his term concludes in December 2022. Multiple law enforcement agencies are investigating these claims against Foppoli; local wine country town Windsor has become in disarray as multiple law enforcement agencies look into his alleged actions from 2014-2021. Foppoli submitted his resignation as mayor in May of this year while Salmon takes his place until his own term ends December 2022.
Foppoli remains under investigation by local law enforcement over sexual assault allegations made against him, with eight local mayors signing a letter calling for his resignation as CEO of Christopher Creek Winery in Healdsburg due to allegations. Congressmen Jarred Huffman and Mike Thompson have also called on him to do so.
Esther Lemus is one of Foppoli’s most prominent accusers in Windsor. In a May interview with The Chronicle, Lemus expressed her distaste over allegations against Foppoli while simultaneously fearing reprisals from Foppoli himself. She told The Chronicle she would no longer support him as mayor if forced to decide between speaking out or continuing her work for Windsor.
Soon after The Chronicle published its initial article about these accusations, Lemus filed a police report alleging that Foppoli drugged her twice and sexually assaulted her. Police investigations continue as of this spring and were turned over to the California attorney general’s office this spring; Foppoli’s residence was served with a search warrant last November; officials have not revealed what was taken from there due to ongoing inquiries.
Lemus graduated with her law degree from UCLA and began work as a Deputy District Attorney in Berkeley, CA, serving on Domestic Violence Treatment Court and Mental Health Treatment Court assignments, in addition to community outreach programs. In August 2021 she joined Legal Aid of Sonoma County as an attorney where she serves as Supervisor for Domestic Violence, Elder Law Units as well as two specialized units dealing with family law and guardianship matters. Lemus is active with local political campaigns, volunteerism efforts as well as efforts reducing gun violence; her extensive resume makes her an outstanding addition to Windsor Town Council.