Former Wapato mayor accused of bribery, sending pornography through city-linked Facebook
WAPATO, Wash. – “He needs to be held accountable,” said Wapato Mayor Juan Orozco.
Orozco reveals to Action News that there was plenty of things going on at city hall that shouldn’t have been, prior to him taking office.
“When I was elected, I sat down at the computer, after being sworn in. Turned it on. And it was right there,” said Orozco.
He’s talking about a Facebook account he says belongs to former-mayor Tony Guzman. While there was no profile picture associated with account, Orozco says he hired an IT professional, and they were able to determine the Facebook account was created on a city computer, with the city-issued mayor email address and a city cell phone, linked to it.
I obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook messages, and in them, I came across some conversations that appear graphic and questionable.
“It appears that Tony negotiated with a citizen for the production of a document that would imply that an individual did community hours that were not done for the court,” said Orozco.
In these messages from 2017, a woman asks the account to forge community service hours, and in return she offers payment. The account agrees and says, ‘Ok, I can say she put in her hours at the food bank,’ and, ‘If you can stop by my office, I actually do it on City of Wapato letterhead.’
In Spanish, she says, ‘You just tell me how much it is, and I’ll pass by your home to pay you.’
But, Guzman says these conversations never happened.
“I know what you’re talking about, but it has nothing to do with community service hours. She was inquiring about a marriage dissolution, and I was telling her what she needed to do, as far as going to the courthouse,” said Guzman.
In other messages, it appears that things like pornographic videos were viewed and sent, and messages were also exchanged between the account holder and an ex city councilwoman, talking about the current councilwoman who beat her in the past election.
“He starts in, talking about me, calling me a ho and saying I look like a cow in a dress, on all fours, ready to get, you know, abused, for lack of a better word,” said Councilwoman Dora Alvarez-Roa.
Alvarez-Roa says she is contemplating suing the city for defamation, for failing to hold the then-mayor accountable.
Because of all these alleged acts of official misconduct, Wapato City Attorney Robert Noe sent a letter to Guzman, requesting that they meet. In the letter, the city accuses Guzman of things including bribery, abuse of office, and viewing and sending pornography.
But, Guzman says he has no intention of meeting with Noe or the city because there is no merit to the allegations.
Guzman has filed a restraining order against Orozco, saying the current mayor has been harassing him, driving past his house, cursing at him, and that he's scared.
“They’re just accusations and like I said, they want me out is basically what they want. They want me off the council, and so they’re probably gonna use all that,” said Guzman.
As of last week, Orozco said Guzman was no longer a council member, but Guzman says he’s unsure of where he stands on council.
And now with Guzman’s restraining order against Orozco, meeting with the city isn’t currently an option.