Last Update: Thursday, December 05, 2013
|Estranged Husband Roy Esqueda Speaks Out|
|Written by Diana Martinez, Editor|
|Thursday, 26 April 2012 03:09|
Last week the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol ran Part 1 of an interview with Roy Esqueda, the estranged husband of San Fernando's Mayor Brenda Esqueda.
In that interview, Roy Esqueda said he supported the effort to recall his wife from office. He spoke of his wife's extramarital affair with San Fernando police Sgt. Alvaro Castellon, the council majority's violations of the Brown Act and described one occasion when Brenda Esqueda, then Mayor Mario Hernandez and Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre all met in his home and instructed him to cover the windows so that people passing by would not see them secretly meeting and breaking the law. After nearly a year of suspecting his wife's infidelity and inappropriate behavior as a city councilmember, Roy Esqueda said he felt compelled to come forward and speak out.
As the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol previously reported, Roy Esqueda said the final straw came earlier this month when his wife took him to court after filing a restraining order. But those proceedings were delayed when a surprise witness, Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre was announced. Roy Esqueda said he was offered a "deal." If he would to write a letter to say the council majority had not broken the Brown Act, in exchange the restraining order would be dropped. He said he refused to write the letter because it wasn't true.
This is Part 2 of the interview.
While Mayor Brenda Esqueda falls silent, refusing to comment when asked by the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol and other media outlets about her affair with married San Fernando police officer, Sgt. Alvaro Castellon, her now estranged husband Roy Esqueda has no doubt.
"She has a photo of him in her nightstand," he said.
The impact of their affair has taken its toll, and he's has difficulty sleeping. He said now he is not only estranged from his wife, but also their daughter, and while he's moved out, tensions have mounted.
The string of extramarital affairs by San Fernando's most public figures have caused much disruption at City Hall and has been the subject of concern among residents.
The first affair to become public came soon after the council held a swearing in ceremony for Police Chief Anthony Ruelas when former police cadet Maria Barajas challenged her termination, which she believed was motivated to hide her affair with Ruelas.
Soon after, rumors began to swirl about Councilwoman Brenda Esqueda and Chief Ruelas' close ally in the department, Sgt. Alvaro Castellon. Also raising eyebrows was the relationship between then Mayor Mario Hernandez and Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre, which caused a tsunami of media attention after the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol reported Hernandez' public admission of their affair from the council dais.
The extra marital affair between Sgt. Castellon and now Mayor Brenda Esqueda has become particularly sordid, and has been among a long list of reasons that local residents have waged a recall campaign. While his wife's affair with Sgt. Castellon could be a sequel to the film "War of the Roses," Roy Esqueda, isn't amused by the drama.
He said he's been distressed and harassed, and his stored property in the garage of the San Fernando family home has been damaged. He said he believes his wife's latest move to file a restraining order against him is really designed to apply pressure to him to force him to help them fight the recall drive.
One goal that Roy Esqueda has is to be a gun dealer and possibly open a gun shop. He said that Mayor Esqueda knows how much that goal has meant to him and by staining his record with a restraining order on his record could keep him from realizing that goal.
He said he first learned during the court proceedings of a plan he believes was concocted by his wife, Mayor Esqueda, and by Maribel De La Torre, to get him to write a letter to say that the council majority hadn't violated the Brown Act even though he was there when they met in his home. He said they also wanted him to reference POA President Irwin Rosenberg in the letter. But when he refused, Mayor Esqueda was angry and in the hallway of the courthouse said, "Ok then the deals off, I'm going through with the restraining order."
The First Signs of Trouble
Roy Esqueda said when his wife first started to talk to Sgt. Castellon he wasn't concerned and he believed that their conversations were at first professional. But it wasn't long before their conversations appeared to become more like a relationship that he believes may have started as far back as March of last year.
"I just asked her, 'This is just a little bit too much. You guys are working together. You guys are acting like you more than friends and dating.' Then I asked her, 'Look, I understand it's okay to have friends. I'm asking right now, is he your friend, yes or no?' She said, 'No. He's just a police officer. We need to discuss business matters.'"
But as Roy Esqueda's suspicions grew, he began to examine the cell phone bills closely. He said he looked at the times that his wife was texting Sgt. Alvaro Castellon and he discovered not only were the text messages excessive, but that she was violating the confidentiality of the council and putting the city at risk.
"I confronted her again with the bill. I said, 'Look, you were in a closed door here at the time you were still texting him.'"
Roy Esqueda said that Mayor Esqueda admitted to him that she was texting Sgt. Alvaro when she was in closed-door sessions. She said, 'Yes, I was texting him about him, about what was being said about him.'"
"Isn't that against the rules?" I asked her. "You're not supposed to do that." Roy Esqueda said Mayor Esqueda replied, "Yeah, but I need to tell what I need to tell him."
Sgt. Castellon was under scrutiny for the role in played in the affair between Ruelas and Barajas. Barajas accused Castellon of threatening her and telling her that she could "disappear." Barajas named Castellon in the lawsuit filed against the city.
Roy Esqueda said his wife just got too close, and he described a situation that became increasingly inappropriate and caused others around them to notice, including their daughter. He said the amount of time his wife spoke to Sgt. Castellon was obsessive.
"They talked on a daily basis, every single chance they got from the moment they woke up until the moment they went to bed," Roy Esqueda described.
"While I was at work, I worked a second shift for the first time ever, she liked that freedom that it gave her," Roy Esqueda said. "I found out she would come home from work, about 5, 5:30, get dressed and go out to the Olive Garden Restaurant and go meet with him, and at other places she would go meet with him. I'd call her at 8 or 9 o'clock, she'd tell me that she had been at home.
"She knew what time I would get off work. I would get off at 11 p.m. By the time I got home, she was already home in her pajamas. She was having me believe she'd been at home all day long. But when I talked to my youngest daughter, she said, 'My mom has not been home since she got off from work.'
"When I confronted Brenda one time, I said, 'Look, you don't even stay home when I'm at work.' She just didn't say anything."
Roy Esqueda reiterated the conversation. "I said, 'What is wrong with you, what's going on?' I was the one trying to save the marriage. She said, 'Okay, I'm going to go to a therapist.' When she did, everything got worse. She told me that her therapist told her it was okay for her to lie to me.
"When we would talk about Castellon, she would start yelling. I would tell her, 'Look, don't yell. Our daughter is in the next room. You don't need to yell about Castellon. Why are you getting so defensive? You're going against me for him?' That's when Brenda would just kind of explode. It kind of looked like [he was the husband and] I had heavily offended her husband," Roy Esqueda said.
"I told Brenda, 'If he had affairs before, he obviously lied to his wife. So he is a lair and you guys are having an affair, what is he telling his wife? That he's at work, that he's in a meeting, what is he telling her? Obviously he's lying.' She [Brenda] never denied it."
Roy Esqueda recounted. Roy Esqueda said since he moved out of the house, his daughter has stopped talking to him. "I would call and text her every single day and she wouldn't respond. I don't know why. I'm assuming she told her something she didn't like.
"She knows what's going on, though. She reads the newspaper, she likes to read. I used to buy her books once a week. She likes to read, she's a smart girl. She does not stay away from stuff. She goes forward and reads about it. She's a firsthand witness that her mom was never home while I was at work. I don't know that it that affected her but she stayed very, very quiet a lot of the time while me and Brenda would talk about Castellon.
"Maybe she knows more than I know."
Roy Esqueda said recently, that Mayor Esqueda confronted him after someone sent Castellon's wife a picture of them [Sgt. Castellon and Brenda Esqueda] together, which he said may have caused Castellon some grief. He said Mayor Esqueda accused him of sending the photo, but he told her he had nothing to do with it.
He said she threatened to file a restraining order, which she later did. He believes she received help from someone else in writing the complaint, which centers he said on a very public confrontation between them at the city's 4th of July celebration last year.
Roy Esqueda said he expected the 4th of July to be a day to enjoy with his wife and family but instead she ignored him the entire day.
It seemed to him that she spent the day talking to everyone else, including all the police officers at the park. When he asked her when she was planning to sit with him, she brushed him off, saying she would be "right back," but she continued to ignore him.
He said it was nightfall when he saw her on the phone. She had been text messaging on her phone. He was out of patience and tapped her on the shoulder, when she turned around he confronted her and asked her who she was talking to. She quickly pressed it tightly at her side and refused to tell him.
"I told her, 'Come on, you're so obvious. Tell me who it was, tell me who it was.' I kept asking 'tell me who it was,'" he said. "Brenda told me that she didn't want to tell me because I would get mad."
He said that Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre was there and she told him to stop, but he told her not to interfere. "I told her, 'This is between a husband and a wife,' and she told me that 'this wasn't the time or the place,'" he said.
"Maribel was always on the side there and she even told me, 'Roy, stop it.' I told Maribel, "It's between us, not you.' And still she would not leave us alone. So Maribel heard when I told Brenda, 'Do you want to be single? Do you want me to leave? This is your chance to say it.' When I walked away, Maribel was still next to her," he said.
"I could hear the announcement, the fireworks were about to start. That's when I told her, 'Okay Brenda, you got you wish. You're single now. I'm out of here. I don't need this crap from you anymore.' I walked away as soon as the first fireworks went up in the air. You know the (wrist) band that they gave us. Brenda refused to give me a band, so I was able to get one from someone else. So I had that band around my wrist and while I was walking away, all the residents that were behind us. I ended up ripping the band off my wrist and I threw it on the ground and when I looked up, I noticed a lot of residents were staring at me like [they were] surprised," Roy Esqueda recalled. "The fireworks show had already started, but they were not looking at the fireworks, they were looking at me walking away," he said.
"I was very upset. That night I walked straight home and I packed my paperwork and some of clothes and I drove away. The first night, I got a motel. I made it to work the next day. From there on, I never went back except when I was trying to get some of my property."
What's unfortunate, said Roy Esqueda, is that he believes when his wife first started as a councilwoman her intentions were good for the city. But she's thrown that away and given up their life together because she really believes she has a future with Sgt. Castellon.
He said he really saw it when she got the call that he was going to be placed on administrative leave.
"Even when they were trying to serve Castellon with suspension, he called her in the morning. She got out of the bed and ran," he said. "She got dressed in less than five minutes and ran out the door. During that time I was still upset that they were still talking like boyfriend and girlfriend."
He said he tried to explain to her that a future with the police sergeant wasn't very likely. "Being a police officer in the same city that you're a city councilmember, he is using you," Roy Esqueda said he told his wife. "Well, of course she didn't believe me. She says, 'No that's not true because if we're not here, were just going to leave the city.' I said,
'What? Are you going to join him?' She said it like they're already a couple and they're going to get ready to move in together.
"So [I told her], 'If you're not a city councilwoman anymore, he is willing to quit his job and you guys are going to move away?' She said, 'Yeah.' I said, 'Together?' She said 'No, separate. I'm going to move out of the city and he's going to move out of the city.' I told her, He already doesn't live in the city, so he doesn't need to move away and he's married.' I think I caught her by surprise saying he was using her and she didn't know what to say," Roy Esqueda said.
I said, 'You're willing to lose everything for one married guy that's not going to leave his wife for you.' I told her that straight out. And she says, 'Roy, what have I lost? What am I losing?' I said, 'Obviously in your eyes, you're not losing anything. But you're definitely not gaining another boyfriend because he's definitely married to his wife. If he leaves her for you, good luck. You did all this for one guy, one guy.'"
"She just stayed very quiet and of course got defensive and said, 'No I did it for me too.' I said, 'You know, in my eyes you're willing to lie for him to protect him.'"
Editors Note: Over the last year, The San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol has requested interview time with Brenda Esqueda on numerous occasions but she has failed to comply. This newspaper has approached her in person repeatedly to ask for comment regarding the controversy surrounding her personal relationship with Sgt. Castellon and her support to bring Anthony Ruelas back to the city of San Fernando as chief of police, her voting record, and her failure to to recuse herself from police matters creating a conflict of interest. While members of Esqueda's family have claimed through blogged messages on our website that Mayor Esqueda has been treated unfairly and was not given the opportunity to respond, the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol has provided her with ongoing requests and an open invitation to be interviewed.
Before the interview that ran in last week's newspaper, numerous requests for interview were placed with Esqueda, but she failed to return our calls by press time. This week, the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol again requested an interview with Mayor Esqueda before running Part 2 of the interview with her husband Roy Esqueda.
On Monday, April 23, the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol spoke to Esqueda. She agreed to be interviewed on Tuesday, April 24. But on Tuesday, she sent text messages to say that she was giving the rights to the interview to a company and indicated that the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol would have to conduct the interview at this company.
She did not indicate the name or location of this company. The San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol informed Esqueda that such an arrangement is not the policy of news agencies and she could not offer the rights for an interview conducted by our newspaper.
During the phone conversation with Esqueda on Monday that discussed the arrangements for the interview, she denied using the word "wetback," and said she didn't feel she had done anything wrong as it pertains to the city. She said that she would talk about these matters on Tuesday. However, she failed to show up to the interview time scheduled at the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol offices on Tuesday.
San Fernando Recall Effort Meets Goal But Continues
The San Fernando Recall Committee announced that they have successfully gathered the required number of signatures to hold an election to replace Mayor Brenda Esqueda, Councilmember Mario Hernandez and Councilwoman Maribel De La Torre.
"While we have gathered enough signatures, it's important that we continue this effort to go beyond the required number, said Julian Ruelas, the Recall San Fernando Chairman.
"The Recall signature petition effort is right on track to meet our goals of restoring integrity at City Hall. By our most conservative count, we expect to have our minimum in hand this week, and we'll meet our excess target number in the next few weeks. San Fernando voters who want to help restore integrity at City Hall can still sign the Recall petition for at least the next few weeks," Ruelas said.
The signatures will still need to be verified by San Fernando city clerk Elena Chavez. The Recall Committee is made up of volunteer residents who have walked door to door and set up a booth for residents to sign recall petitions.
Many members of the recall committee have attended city council meetings and have urged the trio to step down to avoid the expense to the city to hold an election.
"It doesn't appear likely that they will step down even though the community has spoken. We have all given many hours of our time, said Ruelas, He is encouraging residents to contact the committee and to place a recall lawn sign at their home. "It's time for them to go," he said.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 26 April 2012 03:15|