Last Update: Thursday, April 24, 2014
|Roy Esqueda Supports the San Fernando Recall Effort|
|Written by Diana Martinez, Editor|
|Thursday, 19 April 2012 04:53|
He Claims His Wife, San Fernando Mayor Brenda Esqueda, and Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre Attempt to Offer Him "A Deal"
Roy Esqueda doesn't hesitate to say he supports the San Fernando Recall.
He is firm in saying that his wife, San Fernando's new Mayor Brenda Esqueda, Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre and Councilman Mario Hernandez should all be recalled.
It's no wonder. Roy Esqueda believes he's been "victimized," and has paid, perhaps, the highest price for the "sex, lies and text/email" scandals that San Fernando has become famous for.
He said he's had many sleepless nights after learning that his wife was having an affair with San Fernando police officer Sgt. Alvaro Castellon and, after many agonizing months, he is now ready to speak out about that he has been witness to, which he claims includes his wife and the rest of the council majority breaking the law by violating the Brown Act.
Up to now, Roy Esqueda has not spoke of his wife's affair publicly, nor has he spoke of all the other improprieties he said he has been witness to that were committed by the council majority. But, the very last straw came for him last week.
He said he was called into court in Van Nuys on a restraining order filed by Mayor Esqueda.
"If anyone needs a restraining order, it's me." Roy Esqueda said.
He hired an attorney and was ready to present a pile of evidence, to show the judge last week. But, before he could present his documents that included police reports and a photo of Castellon he described as "mad dogging" him, he said Mayor Brenda Esqueda told the judge that her witness had not yet arrived and asked the judge for permission to wait.
A short time later, the witness appeared. It was Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre.
"She came rushing in with no makeup on and her hair was a mess, she looked like she just woke up," said Roy Esqueda.
"Maribel walked up and began to talk to my attorney. Afterward, he came over and told me that Maribel and Brenda wanted me to write and sign a letter that says that they never violated the Brown Act, and if I do this, Brenda would drop the restraining order against me.
"I refused, even though my attorney said to do it [to make the restraining order go away]," Roy Esqueda said. "I told my attorney, 'No, I'm not going to do that.'
Brenda, [Mayor Esqueda] was really angry, and she came over to us and yelled, 'OK, the deals off!'"
Roy Esqueda's attorney told the judge that they were not made aware that there was a "witness" and would need more time to prepare. The judge postponed the court date, which is now set for May 4th.
Roy Esqueda said it's obvious to him that they – Brenda Esqueda with De La Torre - concocted this latest plan to try to stop their recall.
Details of Brown Act Violations in His Home
He told the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol that he has no interest in making "a deal" with them. Even though he said the trio knew it was against the open meeting law, they often met together at various restaurants where they didn't think they'd be spotted.
He said they have had no regard for violating the Brown Act, out of public view, having a quorum of the council or informing the full council that they were meeting.
He recounted one occasion in his home when he was instructed to cover the windows so that people passing by could not see them secretly meeting.
"They met in our dining room. It was in the daytime, it was almost noon," Roy Esqueda said.
"All three of them, Mario Hernandez, Maribel De La Torre, and Brenda ... they all told me to put something on the window. I told them we had shutters to put on one the windows. It was a kind of like the shutters used for a divider wall. I told them I had those, and asked if that was okay [to use]. They said, yes. So I used those and they covered up the entire window."
Roy Esqueda said on other occasions Sgt. Castellon also improperly met with the council members. He said the subject of the constant conversations and meetings they had together was about how they could get newly appointed Police Chief Anthony "Tony" Ruelas back on the job.
"The police department was corrupt, it was about protecting Ruelas 100 percent. He wanted Ruelas back and he would do anything to get Ruelas back," Roy Esqueda said.
And worse, he said, his wife regularly shared confidential information from closed-door city council meetings with Castellon.
"She would text him, and tell him everything that was going on," Roy Esqueda said. "I'm sure she still does."
"When she started doing that, texting, I confronted her with the bill. I said, 'Look you were in a closed door meeting here at the time you were still texting him.' She said, 'Yes, I was texting him about him, about what was being said about him.' I told her, 'Well ain't that against the rules? You're not supposed to do that.' She told me, 'Yeah, but I need to tell what I need to tell him.'"
More History On Ruelas
Even with Brenda Esqueda working behind the scenes to according to her husband, provide information to Castellon, Ruelas was placed on administrative leave and was being investigated for having an affair with Maria Barajas, a former police cadet. The affair, reported by the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol, was well documented as Barajas kept hundreds of their email messages and also supplied a compromising photo of Ruelas in their hotel room as evidence in a lawsuit that she filed.
She not only sued Ruelas and the city of San Fernando, but she also named Sgt. Alvaro Castellon in the lawsuit for threatening her by telling her that, "she could disappear." She alleged that Castellon would not leave her side at Ruelas' swearing in ceremony and prevented her from moving freely.
Castellon and Ruelas were very closely associated both inside and outside the police department. So much so, that Ruelas met with Brenda Esqueda in Castellon's home, Roy Esqueda said.
Brenda Esqueda also visited with Castellon in his home on a separate occasion, according to sources who spoke with the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol, even in the presence of Castellon's wife.
It stunned and outraged the community and the rank and file at the police department when the council majority returned him to duty as chief. Ruelas would find such a cool reception from the rank-and-file however that it was difficult for him to command the department. He was permitted to work on an "as needed" basis and Lt. Jeff Eley was placed in command as interim chief for what would be the second time in this saga.
Execessive Phone Calls Bred Relationship
Roy Esqueda said the conversations between his wife and Sgt. Castellon became obsessive.
"Brenda would talk to Castellon day and night. She would even get up at 5:30 in the morning to talk with him. She'd get up, get dressed and take a walk while talking on the phone. She'd talk to him from the moment she got up in the morning until she went to sleep," Roy Esqueda said.
"There was one time, when we went out to dinner with my daughter, and she was on the phone with him on the way to the restaurant, she talked to him through our dinner and all the way home. I mean, right in front of me she was talking to him like she was a seventeenyear- old schoolgirl talking to her first boy friend and she could not wait to talk to him. She would stay on the phone for at least three or four hours in front of me. Practically flirting, and ignoring me and my daughter," Roy Esqueda said.
He described the conversations his wife had with Castellon as beyond excessive.
"All three of us decided to go on a family dinner one day. We went down Reseda Boulevard to Kings Hamburger. Before we got there, he called her. We walked in, she's still on the phone. We ordered, she's still on the phone. We ate, she's still on the phone. We walked to the car, she's still on the phone. We're driving home, she's still on the phone with him.
"This was daily and nightly, early in the morning she would go for a walk, at 6 o'clock in the morning," Roy Esqueda said.
"I found out she would call him at that time. He would call her before 6 o'clock sometimes when I'm not around. He would call her at 5:30 or around there, to this day. I found out that he's still calling her around 5:30 or 5:44 because one time she actually called me and while I was talking to her and I heard her other phone ring. That other phone, I'm assuming is being paid for by him, that phone started ringing and I looked at the time, it was 5:44.
"I said, 'he's still calling you at 5:44 in the morning?" While she still tried to conceal many of the phone calls, Roy Esqueda said, she couldn't lie about the phone bill.
"I confronted her with the bill online and said, 'Look, his number's all over the place.' I mean he probably would talk to her more than he talked to his wife basically. When she was at work at Facey she refused to talk to me over the phone but she accepted his phone calls right after she hung up from me, after telling me she's not allowed to talk on the phone."
Roy Esqueda said he believes she ran into problems at work because she was on the phone so much.
"I told her, 'you are acting more like this is your boyfriend' but she would deny it when I confronted her.
Pretty soon she started changing her appearance, losing weight, buying new clothes and getting Botox."
Her unending loyalty to Castellon was painfully obvious, he said, on the day when his wife quickly shot out of the house to run to the police department to rescue him.
Castellon Turns to Esqueda and City Hall to Protect Him
Castellon no longer had Ruelas to protect him as he had been placed on administrative leave. Castellon was told by a superior that he too was going to be placed on administrative leave and an investigation would ensue for the role he played in the Barajas affair.
Castellon refused to give up his badge or his gun and had to only make one call to save his job. Esqueda gathered the support of the other members of the council majority and City Administrator Al Hernandez. Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre reportedly offered her support for Castellon via phone, while then Mayor Mario Hernandez, Brenda Esqueda and the city administrator marched over to the police department to tell them that Castellon was not to be touched.
He said after months of rumors he finally moved out of the family home after confirming the affair between his wife and Sgt. Castellon.
She had ignored him throughout the day during a city sponsored 4th of July celebration. She had refused to show him the text messages on her phone, and he couldn't handle her lies any longer. Roy Esqueda said he moved out of the family home but stored many of his belongings including computer equipment in the garage.
But he said that soon became a point of contention as the garage door has been broken several times, his property has been broken and tampered with, and he has had to call the San Fernando police to the family residence on numerous occasions.
He said that Sgt. Castellon has harassed him and it's Castellon's improper involvement with his wife that has turned his life upside down, which has also impacted his relationship with his daughter.
"When I've asked Brenda who has broken my things, she would just say, that she knew who did it but she won't tell me who it was. It looked like some of my belongings were crushed by a boot because you could see the imprint." Roy Esqueda said.
Roy Esqueda describes his wife as having lots of emotional issues with a habit of lying.
"Actually she cheated on her first husband," he said. "She didn't finish high school because she got pregnant and when she was in school she had a lot of conflict. Her mother told me she just never wanted to go to school. Whether the girls were white or Mexican she would get in lots of arguments and have trouble with them."
It's been noted by other community members that the new Mayor doesn't have much tolerance for Mexican immigrants.
Resident Patty Lopez said during public comments at a city council meeting that Mayor Esqueda has laughed at her when she speaks because she has a Spanish language accent.
One of the first actions Mayor Esqueda took when she was first elected to the city council was to put an end to the Spanish language translation of the 4th of July firework narration. She wanted the city to hold a "Victorian Christmas" event and questioned why folkloric and mariachi music was needed at city events.
"She would call people 'wetbacks,'" said Roy Esqueda. "I would tell her to keep her voice down and not talk like that, but she would say that she didn't care, that she was in her house. But she talks so loud, that you can hear her even from street outside."
He believes that she can be easily manipulated and would have difficulty handling the council job on her own.
"She has trouble spelling and writing," he said. "When someone would send her an email, I would respond to them for her, because she wasn't able to do it. Now she's probably having someone else help her with that." Roy Esqueda said.
Mayor Esqueda, Councilwoman De La Torre and Sgt. Castellon Walk the Neighborhood
Last Tuesday, April 17, Mayor Brenda Esqueda, Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre and Sgt. Alvaro Castellon walked door-to-door attempting to turn back the San Fernando Recall effort. Roy Esqueda said he isn't surprised that Sgt. Castellon is out in public with his wife and De La Torre.
"There isn't anything they won't do," he said.
Irwin Rosenberg, President of the Police Officers Association, took note of Sgt. Castellon's action.
"The POA voted overwhelmingly to support the Recall, and Castellon is going against the vote of his fellow officers," Rosenberg said.
"They've broken the law. Even if they aren't prosecuted for violating the Brown Act by the District Attorney's office, the public will decide," said Julian Ruelas of the Recall Committee.
The San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol placed several phone calls to Mayor Brenda Esqueda for comment. By press time, those calls had not been returned.
Next week, the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol continues the conversation with Roy Esqueda.