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Former Wapato mayor files restraining order against current mayor

UPDATED: Thu., July 12, 2018

Tony Guzman
Tony Guzman
By Kaitlin Bain Yakima Herald-Republic

A judge has granted a temporary restraining order to the former mayor of Wapato in the latest manifestation of a back-and-forth tussle between him and his successor.

Former mayor and ousted City Council member Tony Guzman filed a temporary restraining order with the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office earlier this week. That action was necessary, Guzman says, because Mayor Juan Orozco threatened him Friday.

Orozco calls the allegations used to obtain the order “unfounded.”

The accusations come just more than a week after Guzman was booted from the council for three unexcused absences at regular council meetings. Guzman says he didn’t miss all three meetings.

A hearing for a permanent restraining order is scheduled July 23.

According to the narrative filed with the order, Guzman said he was sitting on his patio Friday afternoon when Orozco drove by yelling threats and making obscene hand gestures. Guzman said Orozco drove by a second time, but didn’t do or say anything.

“I am the caregiver to my elderly mother. I fear for my safety as well as for hers,” Guzman says in the narrative.

It also lists instances on Nov. 22 and Dec. 30 of last year when, Guzman says, Orozco parked outside his home.

Orozco says Guzman’s assertions are untrue.

“Mr. Guzman is using the court system and an unfounded allegation to avoid having to meet with myself and the city attorney,” Orozco said.

Orozco and city attorney Robert Noe asked to meet with Guzman in reference to accusations that while mayor Guzman used a city computer to commit bribery and abuse of office and used his office to “secure special privileges,” among other claims.

Orozco said he found proof of these actions on a city computer shortly after taking office in December. Guzman has made similar allegations against Orozco.

Both men have said they doubt the other has proof.

Orozco has repeatedly said he’s cleaning up the city, unlike “past administrations.” Guzman has been critical of some actions taken by Orozco.

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