Ontario City Councilor Freddy Rodriguez attends a recent open forum by Community in Action and the city of Ontario. He lost his bid Friday to have a judge continue a restraining order he obtained against a former girlfriend. (The Enterprise/Kezia Setyawan).
VALE - Malheur Circuit Judge Lung Hung Friday afternoon dismissed a restraining order Ontario City Councilor Freddy Rodriguez obtained after claiming he felt threatened by an ex-girlfriend.
Hung acted after the woman challenged the order and a hearing on the matter was held on Monday, Aug. 3, and finished up Friday. The Enterprise does not identify the victims of domestic abuse.
The decision was another setback for Rodriguez. He is under a court order to say away from the ex-girlfriend for a year and in recent weeks he has had repeated contacts with police. An Ontario retiree filed papers recently to seek a city vote to recall Rodriguez.
In court testimony this week, Rodriguez said that he had received a number of threats from the woman during and after their relationship earlier this year, including that she would have Pat Caldwell, who once dated the victim “erase” Rodriguez, that one of her employees who had dated her would hurt him, and that she colluded with the Malheur Enterprise to report on his past domestic violence history. Caldwell is a reporter for the Enterprise.
Hung said none of the threats amounted to imminent bodily injury, as they either were regarding “some unspecified time in the future” or the people identified as potential threats weren’t present during the conversations Rodriguez cited.
Some allegations, Hung said, referred to threats of bodily injury, but it was not imminent.
Rodriguez testified that the woman once told him from her car, “You know I’m very sick. Say ‘hi’ to Pat and Jerry for me. It’s gonna hurt,” before driving away.
“That’s actually close,” Hung said of the allegation, but it wasn’t imminent because neither Caldwell nor Ward were present at the time.
Rodriguez on June 19 obtained a restraining order against the woman, saying in a court filing he felt threatened by her. He did so two weeks after she had successfully won such an order against him.
Rodriguez had contested her petition on July 14 in Malheur County Circuit Court, but Circuit Judge Matthew Shirtcliff of Baker County ruled after a hearing that Rodriguez was a credible threat to the woman and ordered him to stay away from her for year.
Rodriguez, 38, has served as an Ontario city councilor since January 2019.
Rodriguez moved to Ontario about five years ago from Idaho, where he was twice charged in domestic abuse cases in Canyon County. The charge in one case was dismissed in 2010 after he attended court-ordered treatment. He pleaded guilty in a second case that same year, was sentenced to 24 months of probation and required to attend a 52-week domestic battery treatment program.
News tip? Contact reporter Ardeshir Tabrizian by email at [email protected] or call 503-929-3053.
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