While facing weakening of his powers Mayor Thorpe takes trip to Mexico

Mayor Thorpe’s post on his official Instagram page showing he was in Mexico on Sunday, May 28, 2023 with the comment in both Spanish and the partially redacted English translation. Herald redaction.

Posts message on his official Instagram account with vulgar translation; claims it was mistranslated, later adds his intended meaning of “Don’t mess around”; but Hispanic college board president says phrase is “almost…intimidation”; 6/1/23 UPDATE: Thorpe says he informed Torres-Walker he would be out of town for Tuesday night’s meeting

By Allen D. Payton

While facing the limiting of his powers by three of his fellow councilmembers, on Sunday, while in Ensenada, Mexico, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe posted a photo of himself with a vulgar message on his official Instagram account. It reads, “antioch_mayor No chingen” which translated into English means “antioch_mayor Don’t give a f—“. The post comes three days after the agenda was made public for Tuesday night’s special council meeting, called by District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica at the end of last week’s meeting, and supported by Mayor Pro Tem Tamisha Torres-Walker and District 3 Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock. The two items would both weaken one of the two powers of the mayor, to set meeting agendas, and completely change the position from being directly elected for four years to an annually rotated position among all five council members. (See related articles here and here)

Above the photo in which Thorpe appears serious and pensive, it reads “Valle de Guadalupe, Ruta del Vino, Ensenada” which is in Mexico.

He was sent questions via email late Monday night asking what he was referring to in his Instagram post on Sunday and specifically, “Why don’t you ‘give a f – – -‘?”

The mayor was asked if he is upset about what the three council members are attempting to do to weaken one of the powers of the mayor regarding setting meeting agendas and switching to an annually rotated instead of a directly elected mayor.

Thorpe was also asked, “as an elected representative, do you think it’s appropriate to use that kind of language in Spanish or English, especially on one of your official social media accounts?”

He was also asked about the trip and it’s timing: “Why are you in Mexico? How long have you had this trip planned? When did you book your flight? Or did you drive there and if so, when did you leave Antioch? If it was planned before last Tuesday night, why didn’t you mention that during the council meeting when Councilman Barbanica called for the special meeting for this Tuesday night, May 30 and it received the support from two other council members? Or will you be back from Mexico in time to attend the meeting?”

Finally, he was asked if he has anything else to share about the Instagram post or the two items on the special council meeting agenda.

Barbanica Didn’t Know Thorpe Would Miss Meeting

When asked about Thorpe being in Mexico, Barbanica said, “Had I known at the time when I called for the meeting that he was going to be out of town I would have moved it to another time. I would have loved to have everybody there. But at the time I didn’t know he was going to be out of town.”

Thorpe Claims Mistranslation by Instagram But Won’t See What He Meant

In response to the questions, Thorpe wrote the following via email Tuesday morning:

“So that I’m clear, if I had a public statement to make I’d make it. Right now, I have no statement regarding an issue that’s a non starter. I don’t send subliminal messages. You’re suggesting I’m on vacation not because it’s Memorial Day weekend (one of the busiest travel weekends in the nation) but instead because of a special meeting…after 6 years in elected office, I’ve never sent a ‘subliminal message’ as you’re suggesting.”

Thorpe then made the same claim of mistranslation about another post on his official Instagram page showing him standing in front of a painting of multi-colored wings.

“In case you wanted more examples of Meta broken translator: ‘Pintate de colores y buela como superman’ is also translated incorrectly,” he wrote.

That translated on his Instagram account to “Paint colors and grumble like Superman”.

He later provided his own translation of “Get outta here”.

More Questions Go Unanswered

Thorpe was pressed further asking him to explain what he meant since he claims it’s not intended to be a subliminal message and it’s been mistranslated. He was also asked, “if, as you claim, the Meta translator is broken and it’s an incorrect translation, what is the correct translation of ‘no chingen’?”

He was informed that the word in Spanish appears to be misspelled as the word found on SpeakLatino.com is “chinguen” which is conjugated from the word chingar meaning either: 1. to importune, disturb; 2. to have sex (offensive); or 3. to frequently have wine or drinks (colloquial)

Thorpe was then asked, if “no chinguen” is what he meant to write and if so, which of those meanings did he intend by his post. “Did you mean you don’t want to be disturbed? Or that you’re not drinking? Since that’s supposedly colloquial, and if the latter meaning is what you intended, wouldn’t a better word to use be ‘no beben’?”

He was also asked, “If ‘don’t give a f—-‘ is not what you intended to write, but is translated that way, why haven’t you yet corrected or deleted the comment or post?”

The mayor was asked what “Pintate de colores y buela como superman” translates to in English. Google Translator shows the meaning to be, “Paint yourself colors and ox like superman”.

Thorpe was asked again, if he will return in time for tonight’s council meeting and if not, when did he plan his trip and if planned before last Tuesday night’s meeting, why didn’t he mention it when Councilman Barbanica called for the special meeting to be scheduled for tonight.

Because of a concern that Thorpe intentionally misses certain meetings and the Public Comments portion of meetings he was reminded of being an hour late to the May 9th council meeting for which he missed the Public Comments period. Thorpe was asked if it was true that he was in the mayor’s office upstairs inside City Hall taking his online DUI class at the time.

Thorpe Continues to Refuse to Say What He Meant

The mayor replied, “Again, the issue is a none starter [sic]. So, I can’t ‘send’ a message, directly or indirectly, about something that does not impact the role of the elected mayor.”

One Last Attempt to Get Answers

Thorpe was then sent additional and some of the same questions once more asking, “since what you wrote in Spanish is clearly not understood by most of your constituents and you claim it was mistranslated how can they know it has nothing to do with your role as the elected mayor? What did you intend to write in Spanish that you claim was mistranslated into English? Did you check the translation before finalizing your post?”

He was informed that the SpanishDictionary.com shows the phrase he posted means “don’t f—” with a related phrase of “No chinguen conmigo o se van a arrepentir. – Don’t f— with me, or you’ll regret it.”

Thorpe was also informed that someone whose family is from Mexico and spends a lot of time there said it could mean, “I don’t care” or it’s a warning meaning “don’t mess with me”, “don’t say anything on this” or “you better let this go”.

He was then asked if one of those were the meaning he intended to send.

Thorpe was also asked to support his claim of mistranslation to provide the correct translation of his other post of him standing in front of a painting of angel wings and mentioning Superman. He was also asked now that he’s aware of the vulgar “mistranslation”, as he claims, why he hadn’t deleted the comment.

Again, the mayor was asked, “when did you plan your trip to Mexico? Did you just go for the weekend? Will you be back in town in time for tonight’s meeting? If not, is the trip to avoid attending tonight’s council meeting? Finally, again, if you planned the trip before last Tuesday night, why didn’t you mention it during the council meeting?”

He was also asked again about his hour-long absence at the beginning of the May 9th meeting, where he was, what he was doing and why.

Screenshot of the edit and redacted English translation of Thorpe’s Instagram post on Wed., May 20, 2023 at about 4:45 p.m. Herald redaction

Translation of Thorpe’s Post Changed, Finally Provides His Intended Meaning

Redacted change in translation to Thorpe’s Instagram post on Wed., May 30, 2023 at about 2:00 p.m. Herald redaction

At about 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, the translation to English of Thorpe’s post was changed to read simply, “Don’t f—.”

Thorpe was asked if he had changed the translation or if the system had done that.

He responded, “I changed ‘chingen’ to ‘chinguen’. You said I misspelled it so I changed it. How it translates I don’t control.” Then Thorpe wrote, “Let me see if I can manually fix it.”

He was then asked once more what he meant by his post.

As of about 4:45 p.m. his post had been edited but still read, “No chingen” and translated to “Don’t give a f—-”.

Thorpe then wrote, “Looks like there’s a translate area in settings but can’t figure out how to turn off. I already told you the meaning in a previous email— don’t mess around.” 

“Can’t fix but added my translation at the bottom on both posts,” he added.

The final version of his post now includes the words, “Don’t mess around.”

Thorpe was asked again when he had planned his trip, if he is back in town and if he will be attending the meeting. The mayor did not respond.

Screenshot of Thorpe’s translation to his Instagram post on Wednesday afternoon, May 30, 2023.

Hispanic College Board President Says Phrase is “Almost…Intimidation”

Asked the meaning of the phrase Thorpe posted, Contra Costa Community College Board President Fernando Sandoval, who represents Antioch, said the meaning of the phrase is “don’t f— with me”.

“It’s almost a level of intimidation, especially being posted on there,” he added.

Thorpe Said He Informed Torres-Walker He Would be Out of Town During Special Meeting

6/1/23 UPDATE: After returning from Mexico, Thorpe said he had informed Torres-Walker after the meeting on Tuesday, May 23 that he would be out of town, this week and would not be attending this past Tuesday night’s meeting, and asked her to inform Barbanica.

The special council meeting begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers and can be viewed livestream on the City’s website.

the attachments to this post:

Change in translation to Thorpe’s I-gram post 053023 redacted

Edit & translation of Thorpe’s I-gram post 053023 445p redacted

Thorpe’s translation to I-gram post 053023

Thorpe’s I-gram post 052823 Sp & Eng – redacted

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