Cupertino commissioner accused of sexually harassing ex-Redwood City councilmember 15 years ago

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A Cupertino planning commissioner is embroiled in controversy over allegations involving his online behavior, including 15 year old accusations that he sent pornographic images to a former Redwood City councilmember.

Last month, the City of Cupertino received a complaint about its Planning Commission chair, R “Ray” Wang. Amid a dispute with a Sunnyvale resident over a development in Cupertino, Wang reportedly identified that resident’s employer on social media and implied an intention to contact the employer with negative information, a version of doxing. Wang also reportedly encouraged the public to contact the employers of so-called YIMBYs, short for Yes In My Back Yard, with a similar aim.

Reports about those allegations prompted a reaction from former longtime Redwood City Councilmember Rosanne Foust. In an interview with San Jose Spotlight published today, Foust recalled suing Chairman Wang in 2003 for sexual harassment in a case she believed was also an attempt to tarnish the reputation of someone with a different political view.

Foust, the current executive director for the San Mateo County Economic Development Association who served as a Redwood City councilmember from 2003 to 2015, alleged in the lawsuit that Wang arranged to have sexually explicit images sent to her business email from pornographic websites. Foust believes Wang, who lived in Redwood Shores at the time, had been trying to hurt her reputation as she was planning to run for a council seat, according to Spotlight.

The suit ended in a settlement.

Wang has denied sending her the images, claiming his computer was hacked, Spotlight said.

Spotlight also uncovered via county records that Wang served community service in 2004 after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge for “making annoying telephone call to place of work” in 2003, although it’s not clear who received the calls.

Wang “should not be in any position of authority, period,” Foust told the news publication.

“I think as women we do tend to want to just put it behind us, bury it, to say, ‘Okay, you know what? Move on.’” Foust reportedly stated. “But I was really mad when I saw that he was trying to hurt somebody else.”

Read Spotlight’s detailed report on the controversy here.