The following letter was sent to DPOC Central Committee members Friday afternoon from Irvine City Council member and DPOC Central Committee members Farrah Khan (I’ve bolded some parts that require a closer look):
Chair Briceno, Executive Board and Central Committee Members,
As an elected member of the Central Committee of the DPOC, past South Vice Chair, an elected Council member in the City of Irvine twice endorsed by this body and the Executive Director of the Newport Mesa Irvine Interfaith Council, I am compelled to address an incident which occurred between myself and DPOC Vice Chair Jeff LeTourneau on January 14, 2019, at the UA Local 582 Plumbers and Steamfitters Hall, 1916 Chapman Avenue in the City of Orange following election of officers to the DPOC.
In response to his aggressive and unprofessional behavior, I request a public apology from Mr. LeTourneau and his resignation as Vice Chair.
Aggressive and Unprofessional Behavior
At about 8:30 p.m., shortly after elections were over, I was congratulating the winners. As I approached Jeff LeTourneau, who was standing near the kitchen, I reached out and touched Jeff’s arm to get his attention and said “Congratulations, Jeff.” He responded aggressively and said, “you are a f*cking evil b*tch and now everyone knows it.” When I asked what he meant by that, he accused me of targeting Victor Valladares on Facebook, something I did not do. Then he said, in the same hostile, accusatory tone, something to the effect of “how dare you ask people to run against me.” I acknowledged that Mr. LeTourneau had not been my first choice but my facebook post had encouraged others to consider running. I did not attack Mr. LeTourneau personally. He again called me a “f*cking b*tch” and added a threat stating, “I’m going to make sure you don’t last more than this year in office,” and told me he knew of three other people who were working with him on a recall. I understand that emotions can run high after contested elections, having just been through one myself, but this behavior was extraordinary and made me visibly upset. I will be happy to provide the Executive Committee or other disciplinary body with such contacts and information necessary to corroborate the facts set forth in this letter.
Denial and Corroborating Witnesses
Rather than apologizing and acknowledging the impropriety of his behavior in the days and weeks that have followed, I was advised by several people that Mr. LeTourneau had called them to deny what he had done — effectively calling me a liar.
Fortunately, there was a witness who contacted me and is prepared to corroborate what I am telling you. Again, we all can get carried away in the moment, but the professional thing to do was to acknowledge his inappropriate actions and apologize, not call others to deny a publicly witnessed outburst.
This behavior was clearly unacceptable and inconsistent with the values of who we are as a party. We should have zero tolerance in the DPOC for threats, intimidation and aggressive or offensive behavior and language. I have shared this incident with the Chair and requested disciplinary action be taken. What I was subjected to was nothing short of harassment.
Regrettably, this is not an isolated incident but rather a pattern of threats and intimidation that is not acceptable for a party that has achieved such incredible gains in 2018 through outreach and inclusion. Others have been threatened and intimidated by Mr. LeTourneau and his outbursts have been chronicled on social media. I appreciate the role he has played in building DPOC, but unless we hold Mr. LeTourneau accountable, as we have held others accountable, Mr. LeTourneau’s behavior will be sanctioned, he will be empowered, and his bullying threats and intimidation will continue.
Our State Party is seeking a new Chair as a result of Mr. Bauman’s intimidation and inappropriate behavior. Under Chair Briceno’s leadership, UNITE HERE brought an action against the Irvine Marriott because of a hostile, disrespectful work environment and intimidation of women. We should remain consistent and true to our standards by standing strong against such behavior in the DPOC as well.
I am asking for a public apology from Mr. LeTourneau. I also believe Mr. LeTourneau should be asked to resign from his position as North Vice Chair (I am not, at this time requesting his resignation from DPOC). As an officer with DPOC his aggressive and unprofessional actions undermine our credibility as an organization, complicate the work we do as a Party and reflect negatively on our reputation at a time when we have so much at stake.
Farrah N. Khan
I was a witness or sorts that night. I was having a conversation with Gary Kephart of South County Dems when Farrah approached me and stealthfully placed her finger on her nose and gestered to me to the side exit door. We ran into Rickk Montoya was outside and he saw that she was upset and went inside to give us some privacy. I asked Farrah “what’s wrong”. She then broke down in tears and told me what happened. What LeTourneau said and what her called. Farrah is my friend. I hugged her quickly but realized she needed to company of peers. I went back inside and immediately found Diana Lee Carey, told her what had happened and brought her to the door to see to Farrah. She was quickly joined by Alsio Viejo Council member Tiffany Ackley and Annie Wright, the new OC South County Vice chair who went outside. Ackley and Wright later took Farrah out to calm her down and talk it out. I found Fran Sdao, who had just relinquished the gavel to new chair Ada Briceno and told her what happened. I then texted Ada to let her know about the situation but as I finished the text the second meeting started.
I believe everything Farrah wrote because I was there in the moments immediately after she spoke to LeTourneau.
Since this happened, my understanding is LeTourneau was named vice chair of the DPOC’s Bylaws and Resolution committees — two powerful committees that give him enormous influence in the Party. Because of Farrah’s letter, he should not be seated to either committee…. period. His behavior towards Farrah Khan is unacceptable.
I’ve spoken with those he contacted and his claim “Farrah needs to be recalled because one of her commissioners is a Republican.” Every commissioner appointed by Farrah is a person of color that reflects Irvine’s diversity. But if appointing a Republican to a city commission is grounds for recall, then city council member Melissa Fox should be recalled as well since her transportation commissioner of two years is also a Republican.
How many times is LeTourneau’s behavior going to be overlooked with an apology?
I’ll point out LeTourneau admitted to sending medical marijuana-based products stuffed in a teddy bear across state lines to a family member in New York State, and did so at an Anaheim City Council meeting admitting to a felony.
He was a subject of a viral video in 2018 belitting a gay Republican activist seeking a recall of Josh Newman while wearing his DPOC Vice Chair Party badge; his behavior was so over the top, people were hastily signing that petition to recall Josh Newman. Conservative media made this clip viral and the Republicans used it to raise money to defeat Newman.
Farrah Khan is a city council member is the County’s third largest city. She is a woman of great integrity. No woman should be called a “fucking evil bitch.”
This is the first real test of our new Party chair’s leadership. Central Committee members should hold LeTourneau accountable by denying his appointment to any standing committees and asking for his removal as Vice Chair. Enough is enough.