Former Thorpe supporter who claims to also be his former lover says she, too believes his accusers

Screenshot of Lacey Ferguson Facebook video on Sept. 18, 2022, and Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe

“I wanted to validate the women coming forward and bound to join them in the coming days by speaking on the culture and history of misogyny that does surround Lamar…You do what he wants, whether that is politically or otherwise, or you are punished for it.– Lacey Ferguson

Calls him “dangerous” and “predatory toward women”

Thorpe does not respond

Ferguson also takes swipes at others, including three council members

By Allen D. Payton

WARNING – MATURE CONTENT: In an almost 25-minute video posted on her Facebook page on Sunday afternoon, Sept. 18, 2022, Lacey Ferguson, who has been a vocal supporter of Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe and claims to be his former lover, said she believes the accusations by two women who accused him of sexual harassment. As previously reported the county Board of Supervisors voted last week to settle the women’s legal case for $350,000. (See related article)

Ferguson, formerly known as Lacey Brown, made a name for herself, locally while participating in protests in 2020, including a “hunger strike in which she camped outside the Antioch Police Facility for several days calling for the firing of a police officer and then last year at Police Chief Tammany Brooks’ going away party where she was arrested. She has since helped form the Antioch Homeless Coalition as an advocate for the city’s unhoused residents. (See related articles here, here and here)

Ferguson joins Antioch City Clerk Ellie Householder, also a former ally of Thorpe, who issued a statement on Saturday saying she believes his accusers, as well. (See related article)

She made claims of misogyny by Thorpe, and like Householder, Ferguson mentioned his retaliation against people who supported the mayor but challenged and/or who distanced themselves from him.

In addition, in a comment beneath the post on her Facebook video Ferguson wrote, “To all of the women Lamar is reaching out to, to ask for a statement of support: please think of the impacted people of this situation and do not.”

In the video entitled, “My statement regarding allegations against Mayor Lamar Thorpe”, Ferguson was also critical of Mayor Pro Tem Mike Barbanica and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock being “opportunistic” for calling for Thorpe’s resignation, but also criticized District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson for calling them racist for doing so.

Ferguson’s Prepared Statement

Ferguson read from a prepared statement which she said she hand wrote: “I felt inclined to come on to my community in light of recent events in my community involving our mayor, Lamar Thorpe and the settlement granted to two victims of sexual harassment who used to work for him at the healthcare district.

No matter what my relationship is with him, in reality, to the public, I am closely affiliated to him, and I feel like it’s my responsibility to address this situation rather than staying silent like I imagine many people surrounding him will do.

First and foremost, I would like to acknowledge the experiences of these two women. I know in the coming days they are likely to experience backlash that is unfair and unwarranted. It takes bravery to come forward on something like this considering his position at his former place of employment and our city.

I’d also like to start by apologizing because myself have made excuses and defended Lamar for a long time. We have not only stood behind him but assisted in furthering his position to get him to the powerful place that he is today. I know in many private conversations I have had with the many women who surround him they feel guilt, shame and responsibility for this which is unfair because he should be the one facing accountability for his actions.

I wanted to validate the women coming forward and bound to join them in the coming days by speaking on the culture and history of misogyny that does surround Lamar.

There has always been an accepted knowledge about him who is closely affiliated. We have likened him to getting a degree in women’s studies to taking a narcissist to therapy. They get the tips, tricks to use and turn around and use them against you.

Everyone is well aware that he sleeps with every young intern or assistant he has or plenty other people within the city – he jokes about this. Several people have come to be saying how he would direct message them and text them while they are in high school or ask for the names or numbers underage asking for them to be invited to events where he would be, but I was never aware of any actual illegal activity, so this was always a running joke I was ware of but was uncomfortable with but never said anything about. This makes me even more ashamed to continue with the things I am about to share.

Myself and Lamar have had a very rocky existence at many different levels of interaction. We have been acquaintances, professional collaborators, enemies and friends more than that throughout different times throughout the past couple of years.  So many times, those of us working together with Lamar that were questionable, not completely unethical were able to rationalize this because we believed the ends justified the means.  All of this for us was for what we believed the greater good.

It isn’t a secret that I have publicly spoken out about behavior I didn’t agree with the unhoused residents’ services, police reform, and other matters. He and I were not on good terms for a period of time after I tweeted about something he and I disagree about up until about February of this year.

I was originally defensive of Lamar when it came to allegations of sexual misconduct. For one, when I was made aware of the sexual harassment allegations against him, I asked him about them and he had stated that these women had been caught stealing money from the Los Medanos Healthcare District and were fired for such and had only concocted this story after their termination to save their own asses and described them, as quote, little ghetto girls.

I myself have had consensual sex interactions with Lamar where he was never aggressive, violent or pressuring me in any way. I got to thinking about how that initiated when I read the full statement in the news from these women over the last couple days from these women and all of it sounded all too familiar and immediately knew these women were telling the truth.

I attended a fundraiser for Monica Wilson at Monica’s Riverview, the restaurant. I showed up late and in scrubs as I had just come from outreach and was irritated when I realized Lamar was still there because I didn’t have the patience to deal with him that day. We had not been getting along for a couple of months if not longer. When the event ended, we had all gone over to the bar side of the restaurant, and he tried to pay for a drink of mine, and I threw his cash back at him. He tried to convince me to dance with him and I chalked this up to him being drunk and I didn’t respond.

As we all were lined up by the door to go to Legends, another bar in Antioch, he loudly said something along the lines of ‘Lacey walking around with all that a**’ and used both his hands to smack and grab my butt. He did this in front of several elected officials and city-affiliated people who just looked at me waiting to say something. I rolled my eyes and gave him a jousting shove in the chest and we all just left. In hindsight, this, of course, was an issue, but like I said, this is accepted knowledge about Lamar that he is just like that and he was drunk and when Lamar is drunk, he says and does dumb things because we all do.

We all left to Legends and he and I both got drunk, we went out to the dance floor a couple of times and once our colleagues left he kissed me at the bar. I knew he was more intoxicated than I was, so I told him he needed to sober up and talk to me tomorrow. He walked me to my car where we kissed again, and he tried to put his hands down my pants, but I stopped him. The next day he texted me something along the lines of its tomorrow, its sober Lamar and I am still thinking about you.

That evening, I went over to his house and he and I had sex, casual sex. Maybe five times between then and his DUI. I’d like to make it very clear that every sexual interaction between Lamar and I was 100% consensual and I am not claiming to be a victim of anything. I am simply trying to provide context as to why I believe these women and to despite his response will likely be to them if any their experience was not an isolated incident.

The behavior on his end is the same but the difference is some of us return his advances and some do not. These women having been fired from their jobs for doing the latter. Anyone who knows Lamar finds themselves in that predicament in a lot of different situations. You do what he wants, whether that is politically or otherwise, or you are punished for it. The attribute that he is most proud of is self admittingly is his pettiness and his ability to get revenge.

The night of his DUI I missed a text from him that said ‘help’ while he was at CHP. A couple hours later around 6:00 AM I got a call from another member of city council asking if I knew where he was because they had gotten the same text. I drove to his house, and I spoke to him.

He was upset. It hadn’t hit the news yet, but he knew it was about to. He was saying things about ‘my career is over, everything was over’. I told him it was going to be okay. I left. Henry Lee (of KTVU Fox 2) was calling him for a statement.

That morning I parted with another person close to him to have some of our friends over to cheer him up a bit. He was in really bad spirits that day and we just wanted him to know he had support. We got trays of food his closest people surprised him at his house as he came home from an event.

I drank way too much, which is my own responsibility and nobody else’s, and I was arrested for a DUI after leaving his house later that evening. He was afraid of anyone finding out where I had been coming from, of course. He said he had interim city manager Con Johnson calling around to impound lots trying to figure out where they had towed my car. I told him that was probably a bad idea and he agreed.

I appreciated him being helpful because I was really embarrassed what had happened and the timing of it all as it was the same day as his DUI. I had previously done some work for him for Rolando Bonilla’s city council campaign down in San Jose which he was running. Some of which I had previously refused payment for. He offered to pay me money to help me get a car, temporarily and he dropped the money off to my house for me. He told me not to talk to anyone or make any statements, but I did want to take accountability, so I did make the statement online anyway.

He called up a mutual connection of ours, an attorney I had worked with through my non-profit organization, and someone he knows personally. He explained my situation and offered to help me out. She and I arranged for me to sign a retainer agreement for to represent me once charges for my DUI came about. I really appreciated this gesture from him.

A few weeks later, I began helping Lamar as a paid volunteer for his anti-recall campaign. He was focused on being the campaign manager for Rolando in San Jose and was traveling there, daily.

During this time, a vote was set to occur by city council regarding HomeKey application for transitional housing funds. Andrew Becker and I approached Tamisha Torres-Walker to hear us out before voting despite Lamar had expected a ‘yes’ vote from her to push it through. She was kind enough to give us time and attend a meeting that we set up. She concluded that from this meeting that further investigation into an additional potential site needed to be done and to Lamar’s surprise, she voted ‘no’ at the meeting.

In immediate retaliation, he abstained from a vote for the Department of Public Safety, something she had been working on and very important to her.

Shortly prior to that meeting, I had a meeting with Councilmember Lori Ogorchock which I had mentioned that when it comes to Lamar none of us really have a choice. We either do what he wants, or he punishes those who go against him. She mentioned I contribute to enabling him and I agreed with her.

He and I spoke after he abstained from the vote with Tamisha, and I expressed my distaste for the behavior he had shown toward her. He said it was political and that is how things get done. I said, respectfully, ‘I don’t support behavior like that’ and I dropped off all the T-shirts, signs, campaign materials on his front porch. I was determined to not continue to enable him despite knowing me and my assistance mean nothing to him and likely wouldn’t make a difference anyway.

The next morning, I received a text message from a mutual connection, the attorney I had been speaking with and had planned to represent him. She let me know, due to quote, ‘capacity at her office’, suddenly, would be unable to represent me. I wholeheartedly believe this was the work of Lamar and taking away his third vote.

It was after this, for the final time, I said I was done with the game we all play dodging and ducking the wrath of Lamar. Nearly every mutual friend of ours has expressed similar sentiments as me but they are forced to continue playing the game. The thing is when you are loyal to no one like he is, no one is loyal to you either. So many disgusting things he was saying and doing were repeated back to me and I was sick about it. I still continue to defend him in some ways.

One of our mutual friends, after this, told me that his increasing erratic and concerning behavior was due to multitude of things, including use of cocaine, allegedly stealing money, engaging in illegal behavior, misusing campaign funds from both he and Rolando Bonilla campaigns and to this day I am not sure any of that is true and I don’t know if it is.  This video would be way too long to go into it all.

But it is here where I began to watch the unraveling of the person I know to be Lamar.

I was at Ellie’s (Householder’s) house, someone who I perceived to be his closest friend and ally, when the news broke about the overturning of Roe vs Wade. When Lamar made his post the initial caption, he made the situation about the ‘Karens’ of Antioch, his recall, blamed the only female Supreme Court judge contributing to its overturning. His post was the first thing that popped up on my Instagram feed and it was how I actually learned about the decision.

Ellie called him to recommend that he change his caption to focus on those more directly impacted and less on himself. He met her with such hostility, that she stood in his kitchen with tears asking him to please not do this when it came to speaking to her and treating her the way that he was. She knew it would be a final nail in the coffin that was already a damaged relationship. I heard him almost laugh at her telling her she was being hysterical, of all words to use, and hang up on her. I was so appalled.

In the coming weeks, I saw the lengths he was willing to go to retaliate against Ellie for distancing herself from him and I was truly shocked. As I mentioned, we all knew who and what he was but seeing it in action in such a blatant way was disturbing. I also began to hear from so many people he had harmed, people were slowly coming together and following the lead of those distancing themselves from him.

These people’s stories are not mine to tell and if they choose to come forward then I fully encourage and support them to do so if they feel comfortable.

Says Thorpe Will Not Resign

I know that he will not resign because he and I have had a conversation about that before in which he told me there would be nothing that could ever make him do so. However, what I am asking for here is for the people who know about everything I am referencing in this video and more to stop sheltering and defend him.

We need to stop rallying around him and speak out and it is all of our responsibility to do so at this point as we have created the situation that we are in, currently.

I would like to also make it clear that people that use racist and bigoted attacks against Lamar are the ones who have created the hostile environment that has not been a safe place for these two women to come forward.

Between Lamar and people like the proponents of the recall against him, our city has been polarized into two groups. You are either 100% in support of Lamar or you are with the racists coming after him for the wrong reasons—no room has been left for legitimate criticisms and he is able to use this as a weapon against those who wish to speak out in disagreement. I already know all the responses this is going to get before this will happen and I would like everyone to understand the part that they play in the reason that these things have been able to continue happening.”

————–

Ferguson continued speaking for almost another nine minutes of why she thinks people have ignored Thorpe’s behavior which is due to their support of his policies and votes with which they agree, as well as calling on other victims of his to not be afraid to come forward.

“It does feel like attacks on Black elected officials. It does feel like an attack on progressive change,” she stated.

“There are women who have had these experiences with Lamar, and they are watching these statements,” Ferguson continued. “Someone who is dangerous and someone who is predatory toward women in office is not only wrong but a distraction from getting things done in this community.”

“I believe this is the right thing and it’s about time people stop protecting someone who hurts people,” she said. “And for the record, if you are someone who I referenced as someone who has been hurt in other ways and you do want to come forward, I want you to understand that there are people who believe you and there are people who will support you.”

“Not everyone is going to continue standing behind this person and it is safe for you to tell the truth,” Ferguson said. “I know that it can be scary when someone so powerful is so willing to ruin your reputation and take away things like your financial stability or other ways that he has threatened you because I know the ways he has threatened you. That can be really scary.”

“I know I am no one significant but I want to come forward just to say I will believe you. And I do,” she stated. “I’ll do everything that I can to make sure that your experience is not, you know, just carted off as someone, this person just wants to attack the mayor or hop on the bandwagon or anything because I know a lot of these stories to be true.”

“Thank you for everyone listening to the end,” Ferguson concluded.

Questions for Thorpe

Thorpe was asked via email Monday evening if anything in Ferguson’s video is not true, and if so, what. He was also asked if he had any other comment in response. Thorpe did not respond as of Tuesday at noon prior to publication time.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

Mike Burkholder of eastcountytoday.net contributed to this report by providing Ferguson’s transcribed comments which are reprinted, here with permission.

 

 

 

 

 

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the attachments to this post:


Lacey Ferguson 091822 video screenshot & Lamar Thorpe


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