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UPDATED: Foothill instructor steps down from Santa Clara City Council amid sexual harassment allegations

UPDATED May 17:

Capt. Wahid Kazem of the Santa Clara Police Department confirmed Thursday afternoon that the number of police reports filed against Dominic Caserta is now more than nine. However, he would not say how many. 

“As an organization we don’t feel like it’s in the interest of the victims or the investigative process to update the number of reports that we have,” Kazem said. 

Andrew Lucia – the assistant superintendent of the Santa Clara Unified High School District, in which Caserta teaches – was also tight lipped on the matter of whether Caserta was under investigation.

“All allegations that are brought to our attention are investigated and we take them very seriously and we have a process that we follow,” he said.

However, Lucia added that he wouldn’t be able to discuss allegations against any faculty member nor was he able to say whether the Santa Clara Unified High School District Board of Trustees was planning to discuss it at a future meeting.

Part-time Foothill Community College instructor Dominic Caserta resigned from the Santa Clara City Council Tuesday morning after nine reports of alleged sexual harassment were filed against him the last week.

Dominic Caserta
Dominic Caserta

“The allegations against me are false in every sense of the word, yet I have been tried and convicted in the court of public opinion without due process or recognition of my distinguished service,” Caserta said in a statement announcing his resignation.

Caserta also announced that he was suspending his campaign for the District 4 seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors because he “no longer (could) effectively communicate the issues” he was campaigning on.

His resignation comes a day after Santa Clara Mayor Lisa Gillmor called for him to step down. In a press conference following Caserta’s resignation, Gillmor “commended” Caserta for making the “right decision.” She added that she believed the city reacted “quickly and responsibly.”

In Monday’s press release, Gillmor said the council had planned to discuss Caserta’s role at their Tuesday night meeting. With his resignation submitted, Gillmor said Tuesday morning that they would be discussing options for filling his seat, as well as a censure policy for the future.

Caserta has been a Santa Clara councilman for 12 years and a teacher at Santa Clara High School for 20 years. He teaches political science at Foothill; college officials said they are gathering facts about the allegations and have not taken any action against Caserta.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available.

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