Ontario City Councilor Freddy Rodriguez, left, attends a recent forum by Community in Action and the city of Ontario discussing the outcomes and next steps for the winter shelter program. (Kezia Setyawan/The Enterprise)
ONTARIO - Ontario City Councilor Alfredo “Freddy” Rodriguez has been involved in five local police cases in the month since he and an ex-girlfriend obtained restraining orders against each other, according to police reports.
In two cases, he got into disputes with local residents and in another he turned a laptop computer over to police after an officer responded to a theft report.
In another two instances, Rodriguez complained to police about vehicles parked near his house. Police took no action in those cases.
The reports were obtained from the Ontario Police Department and the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office through public records requests.
Rodriguez, 38, has served on the Ontario council since January 2019.
Rodriguez didn't answer detailed written questions provided him by the Enterprise.
"Just know the importance of addressing these questions to my constituents is very important, not only for an effort of transparency but to ensure they get the full story," he said in an email Thursday.
His troubles come to light after a former girlfriend obtained a restraining order in Malheur County Circuit Court based on her claims that she feared Rodriguez. The Enterprise doesn’t identify victims of domestic abuse.
The councilor has requested a hearing to contest the order, now scheduled for Tuesday, July 14. He separately obtained his own court order prohibiting the victim from contacting him.
Ontario Police Chief Steven Romero in early June notified the agency’s officers to take extra care when handling police calls involving Rodriguez or the victim. He directed his officers to immediately contact a supervisor in such instances.
“We need to ensure our agency remains neutral and respects the pending investigation being conducted by the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office,” Romero said in a June 10 memo obtained by the Enterprise.
Malheur County Sheriff Brian Wolfe earlier confirmed his agency was investigating but declined to elaborate.
The most serious case in the past month unfolded when the former girlfriend reported the theft of her laptop, telling police that Rodriguez had the device, according to a sheriff’s office report dated June 30. She told police her mother attempted to recover the computer from Rodriguez but he refused, saying he was owed $400. The mother told police she offered to pay Rodriguez the money but he refused.
The deputy reported he told the victim that police would “find Freddy and explain to him that holding someone’s property for payment can get him charged.”
The deputy said he located Rodriguez, who denied holding the laptop for money, and turned it over to the deputy, according to the report.
Police records show Rodriguez called police three weeks earlier and complained about the money he said he was owed.
“This appeared to be a civil matter,” the Ontario police report said.
Rodriguez also complained that four days earlier, a vehicle was parked in the alley behind his home and the driver shouldn’t know where he lives, the report said.
“There are no crimes,” the report concluded about the June 10 contact with Rodriguez.
Six days later, on June 16, Rodriguez again called police to report that a car connected to his ex-girlfriend parked across from his home “for less then 10-15 seconds,” the report said.
The officer advised Rodriguez to call the police “each time he saw this or any other vehicle that he believed belonged or had a connection to” his former girlfriend.
The officer said he warned Rodriguez that if he was to be in contact with her, “he will be arrested and jailed.”
He said the councilor “brought up the fact that I had not made him feel safe,” the report said.
“No crime,” the report concluded.
On June 25, an Ontario man reported that he got into a dispute with Rodriguez and the two got into a “verbal fight,” according a sheriff’s office report. The victim said he called Rodriguez, who he said is his personal support worker, to drive him to a doctor’s appointment.
The victim said the two started arguing when Rodriguez started taking photos of the victim’s girlfriend.
Rodriguez told police he had been told there was a court order for no contact between the two. He said when he called police about the matter, he was told there was no such order.
The victim told police he didn’t want Rodriguez back at his house, and Rodriguez was warned by the deputy that he would be trespassing if he did return, according to the report.
On July 6, Ontario officers responded to a dispute between Rodriguez and his landlord, according to the incident report. The landlord said he let Rodriguez and his daughter move into his downstairs apartment around a month ago because Rodriguez “is his friend and needed a place to stay.”
But the landlord said he wanted Rodriguez evicted because Rodriguez demanded the victim “stop raking the front yard and help him measure for carpet.” He told police he would seek a court order to evict Rodriguez.
The deputy said he told Rodriguez “that it would be best to both avoid each other so a fight doesn’t occur. Alfredo agreed to comply,” according to the report.
Rodriguez moved to Ontario from Idaho, where he was twice charged in domestic abuse cases. The charge in one criminal case was dismissed in 2010 after he attended court-ordered treatment. He pleaded guilty in a second case that same year, and was sentenced to 24 months of probation and required to attend a 52-week domestic battery treatment program, according to Canyon County court records.
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