Cupertino planning commissioner called out for alleged pattern of harassment


CUPERTINO — When she read a recent Mercury News article about Cupertino Planning Commission Chairman Ray Wang posting attacks on social media against housing advocates he described as “neo-liberal fascists,” Rosanne Foust cringed.

Wang was apparently urging city residents to send complaints about those activists to their employers to get them in trouble. Foust flashed back to 2003, when she sued Wang for harassment and stalking after he allegedly signed her business email up for pornographic content when she was a Redwood City planning commissioner.

So Foust said she decided to call out Wang for what she saw as a pattern of harassing behavior, by contacting media organizations including the Mercury News and San Jose Spotlight website, which published a story about the lawsuit last week.

“I had an eight-year-old and three-year-old [children], and I open my home computer and get these vulgar, nasty images,” Foust said in an interview. “Speaking up about him again isn’t high on my list of want-to-do’s, but I don’t think he should be serving as a chair of anything.”

Foust, who went on to become a Redwood City councilwoman and currently is executive director of the San Mateo County Economic Development Association, believes Wang — then a Redwood Shores resident — targeted her because they were on the opposite sides of a number of development issues in Redwood City.

Wang, an ardent slow-growth advocate, is now targeting opponents in the same fashion, she concluded.

Wang is aligned with residents opposed to redevelopment proposals for the Vallco Shopping Mall and who want to see slower growth in the city. He faced backlash in June when he posted his controversial comments on the neighborhood social media site Nextdoor.com about pro-housing activists, although Wang insists the part about reporting people to their employers was aimed at stopping the regular harassment he gets.

In an interview last week, Wang adamantly denied he ever signed Foust up for pornographic emails and said his home internet network was hacked. Wang said “developer interests” are behind Foust’s decision to bring up the old lawsuit and a related misdemeanor criminal charge.

“If you’re an active resident and you’re worried about the community’s health and environment, you’re going to be attacked,” Wang said. “I don’t do things like this. … They see me as an obstacle … and I’m being painted in the middle of a smear campaign.”

Back then, Foust and Wang lived in the same Redwood Shores neighborhood. She was also running for City Council when she began receiving the pornographic emails.

Because planning commissioners didn’t have separate emails, she was using her business email for city issues. “If someone did a [public records request] they’d find these yucky sites — he was trying to ruin my reputation,” Foust said.

Foust bristles at Wang’s suggestion that she spoke with media at the behest of developer Sand Hill Property Co., which plans to transform Vallco to a mixed-use office, residential and retail complex.

“Nobody puts me up to anything,” Foust said. “What bothered me was I saw him attacking somebody’s job, livelihood …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Business

      

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