Ontario City Council

From left, Paul Avila, Jim Bowman and Mayor Paul Leon chat awkwardly at the end of the Ontario City Council’s third recess of the night. (David Allen/Staff)

By David Allen, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 09/04/14, 3:39 PM PDT |

Extraordinary things happened at Tuesday’s Ontario City Council meeting. For starters, the closed session grew so unruly that police were called in.

Evidently Councilman Paul Vincent Avila got so, er, animated that two officials left the conference room to find Police Chief Eric Hopley, who sent in an officer.

“I’m not going to repeat the language that was used,” City Attorney John Brown said later. “It did rise to a level where, for the first time in my 39 years as a city attorney, we requested that a police officer be invited into closed session.”

Be proud, Ontario. The open meeting hadn’t even begun and new frontiers were being explored.

The real meeting began late, but needless to say, it did not disappoint. (Video highlights can be seen online at http://bit.ly/1qhNR84.)

During public comment, Avila said from the lectern that he’s running for mayor because Mayor Paul Leon needs to go.

“Sir, mayor, I challenge you to a debate,” Avila said. “To a run, pushups, situps, anything, other than DoubleTree Hotel womanizing.” (Ouch.) “I can take you out. I’m not a vegetable. I’m not a yes person.”

As Avila resumed his seat on the dais, Leon quipped, “I know I can beat you in a pie-eating contest.”

During one of the meeting’s three recesses, possibly a record, I went up to say hi. Avila was friendly and said he wished he could tell me what had happened in closed session.

He added that he was happy to see me.

“I like how you write. You have some humor, some sarcasm, some facts,” Avila said. “In fact, I love the way you write. The Daily Bulletin would be in dire need if you ever left.”

I don’t care what people say, this guy makes a lot of sense.

Nevertheless, Avila was the focus of three agenda items relating to his unusual conduct.

First the council decided to tweak the wording of the rules of conduct to remove any references to the public’s conduct, focusing exclusively on the council’s behavior.

Avila went on his first public rant of the night.

“If anyone has been harmed up here, it’s me. It’s four against one. Why? Because I started an investigation against corruption and that made me the bad guy,” Avila asserted. He kept going on this tack until Leon called a recess.

“Eventually you’ll see them, one by one, fall,” Avila continued as council members left. “Someone at the county is masterminding this: Devereaux!” That was a reference to a former Ontario city manager.

Next, the council received an investigator’s report into Councilwoman Debra Dorst-Porada’s complaint that Avila emailed her a shirtless photo of himself and that he approached her in a hotel lobby during a conference and asked, “Are you going to be my hooker for the night?”

Avila declined to be interviewed by investigators but consented to answer written questions, which he apparently did on a typewriter, and the results make for great reading. Two typical exchanges:

• Q: “How would you describe your relationship with Council Member Dorst-Porada?” A: “gratefully distant and stoically!”

• Q. “Do you and Council Member Dorst-Porada have a habit of joking around with each other in a non-sexual context?” A. “You don’t joke with delusional powdercakes its hazard ous to one,s false hearsay accusations. Delusional by product result.”

If you want more, we’ve posted the whole report at http://bit.ly/1r9Htf8. (You’re welcome.)

In sum, Avila claimed that Dorst-Porada requested the photo and that he actually asked her “Can you be my looker at the hotel?” due to his poor vision. Investigators determined he wasn’t credible.

From the dais, Avila called the report “a joke,” said Dorst-Porada was “being used as a pawn” and said he would never proposition her.

“She is a very unattractive woman,” Avila said.

To read entire column, click here.