What I experienced, along with former Orange Cove City Council Member Ralph Pardo, during a closed session as we waited in the council chambers was a direct threat by none other than Mayor Victor Lopez’ brother, Robert Lopez.
He stood, hovering over us, pointing and telling us in our faces that “You don’t talk about Victor Lopez behind his back.” I said, “It’s a free country, and I can say whatever I want.”
Robert Lopez continued to be argumentative. Although I repeatedly asked him to leave us alone, he refused to go back to where he was sitting with another man.
I drew the line when Robert Lopez asked me, “Where do you live?” I told him, “It’s none of your business.” He asked me again, laughingly and chillingly, “Where do you live?”
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I told him, “I’m calling the cops. I’m not taking this anymore.” I did call and reported it, and only then did he back off for the remainder of the meeting.
Only in an Orange Cove City Council meeting is one to beg the question: Can anyone talk about Mayor Victor Lopez behind his back without getting threatened?