Mendota names new mayor after arrest, resignation of Rolando Castro

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Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Mendota names new mayor after arrest, resignation of Rolando Castro
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A new mayor has been named in Mendota hours after the former mayor announced his resignation on Tuesday.

MENDOTA, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the Mendota City Council swore in two new councilmembers Tuesday night, one person was notably absent.

Mayor Rolando Castro was scheduled to be sworn in for his third term serving the city. Hours before the meeting, he submitted a letter of resignation to the city clerk.

"Effective immediately I resign from my position on the Mendota City Council due to personal reasons," Castro wrote in the letter.

Castro's resignation comes after police say he was arrested for a domestic violence incident at a home on Blanco Street early Sunday morning.

He also pled to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in 2005 for a 2004 case.

"I'm surprised to hear about that. You know, I don't know the details. I can't comment one way or the other what happened but you know he's a good man," said Joseph Riofrio, a former councilmember.

Riofrio was honored at Tuesday's meeting as he ended his 26 years of service on Mendota's city council. He expressed his support for Castro during his goodbye.

"Mayor Castro did always put Mendota first," Riofrio said.

RELATED | Mendota mayor resigns day after arrest for domestic violence charges

Sergio Valdez has lived in Mendota for 58 years and has remained to close to city politics during Castro's two terms.

"If you continue making the same mistake, it's not a mistake anymore. It's a choice. So, like I said, he's done a lot for this community. Some good, some bad. But that is part of being a politician," said Valdez.

Victor Martinez and Libertad Liberty Lopez were both sworn onto the council Tuesday night. Lopez was elected to be mayor pro-temp.

With a unanimous 4-0 vote, Martinez was elected as mayor.

"He's very highly qualified. He's assertive and he's confident. And he will serve our community well," Riofrio said about Martinez.

After Tuesday's swearing-in ceremony, the city council is still left with one vacancy because of Castro's resignation.

The city is now calling for anyone interested in filling the opening to submit an application.

Councilmembers will review the applications and select who will fill the empty seat.