Ontario Councilor Freddy Rodriguez speaks at the Black Lives Matter rally at Ontario City Hall on June 4. (Rachel Parsons/The Enterprise)
Ontario City Councilor Freddy Rodriguez is a “credible threat” to an Ontario woman and faces bail of up to $50,000 if he violates an order to stay away from her, according to court records.
Malheur Circuit Judge Erin Landis on Thursday, June 4, issued a restraining order directing Rodriguez to have no contact with a woman who said in court filings that Rodriguez “made me fear that I was about to be physically injured.” The Enterprise does not identify victims of abuse.
Rodriguez, 38, has served as a councilor since January 2019.
“I was very fearful of him as he has said that he could harm me and others and would get away with it,” the victim wrote in petitioning for the restraining order.
She said Rodriguez has a “past domestic violence history.”
The woman and Rodriguez had an intimate relationship in recent months, according to the court filings.
Landis granted the restraining order the same day the woman requested it. The order form sets a standard $5,000 security amount “for violation of any provision of this order.” Landis modified that to $50,000 for Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has 30 days to request a hearing on the order and said by email to the Enterprise Friday morning that he intends to do so.
“I plan to contest these atrocious false accusations,” Rodriguez said. He said Landis’ findings were “based on ZERO evidence.”
He said the allegations wouldn’t affect his role on the Ontario City Council.
“I intend to continue my service,” he said.
In her petition, the victim said Rodriguez made threats to her against one of her employees and Pat Caldwell, a reporter at the Enterprise who had dated the victim. The victim said Rodriguez told her “he was going to kill them.”
She recounted an incident from February when she was a passenger when Rodriguez was stopped by an Ontario Police Department officer. She said Rodriguez “started telling the officer about hanging out with the mayor and Cliff Bentz, then offered up a coin saying it will get him out of trouble – no ticket issued.”
She said Rodriguez has said Ontario police officers are “my pals” and that he had nothing to fear from Police Chief Steven Romero.
She said Rodriguez told her that “Romero is a new chief and his officers don’t respect him and is an [expletive] from California.”
Romero couldn’t be reached Friday morning for comment.
She said she sought the petition because of a string of emails from Rodriguez last week demanding money and threatening to expose details of her personal life. She submitted as part of her petition emails she said were written by Rodriguez.
The emails focus on $400 that Rodriguez asks the victim to provide.
In what appears to be an email on Tuesday, June 2, with “Freddy Rodriguez” in the sender’s line, the writer said he and his daughter “are hungry and low on funds...Just let us have a chance with that money you saved for us.”
Later that night, an email listing the victim as the sender responds that she is sick but “I will give you the money back. Please leave me be.”
In her petition, the woman wrote, “In May, he came to me wanting money for a vehicle. I told him that’s not appropriate. He responded I owe him for all the things I had done to him. He kept asking and making me feel guilty by adding that his daughter needed it. I broke down and finally helped him to get him to leave.”
This is a developing story. Stay tuned to the Enterprise for updated information.
News tip? Contact the Malheur Enterprise by email at [email protected] or 541-473-3377.
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