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State AG to probe assault allegations against Bay Area mayor

WINDSOR, Calif. (AP) — The California Attorney General’s Office would prosecute any potential criminal charges against the mayor of the wine country town of Windsor, who has been accused of sexual assault by six women, officials said Monday.

Mayor Dominic Foppoli has denied the women’s claims, writing in a statement over the weekend that he is “completely innocent of the conduct alleged” in a recent news report by the San Francisco Chronicle.

The state Attorney General’s Office took over as lead agency after a conflict of interest within the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office forced local prosecutors to recuse themselves from the case, the Press Democrat reported.

“I was advised this morning by that agency that they will immediately assume the responsibilities of reviewing these incidents, and if appropriate, charging and prosecuting any relevant violations of the law,” Sonoma County District Attorney Jill said in a statement Monday.

Foppoli has said the allegations are driven by politics, and he has made clear that he would fight growing calls from elected officials that he step down.

As of Monday, six women had come forward to say Foppoli assaulted them in incidents dating back to 2002.

The mayor said he had never “pressured any female to engage in sexual conduct with me,” but did not address any of the specific accusations, which include forced oral sex and rape.

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into the case last Thursday.

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