Mayoral Candidate Receives Threats
On September 15 mayoral candidate and EGUSD Board Trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen woke up to threats on social media. On her personal Facebook page, a man named Kong Lee messaged her. His statement was misogynistic and vile.
“F*** you and your racist comment. Ugly whore. I hope you die slow.”
It is important to note that there were pictures of guns all over his Facebook page. At the time of the writing of this article, Elk Grove Tribune staff could not find this Facebook page. This leads us to believe that the owner of the page may have deleted it in order to avoid police detection.
Press Conference With Mayoral Candidate
Bobbie Singh-Allen & Assemblymember Jim Cooper
On Tuesday morning, a press release went out to local news media letting the press know that Bobbie Singh-Allen had received threats and that there would be a press conference. The press conference was scheduled for 4:30 PM outside the Elk Grove Police Department.
During the press conference, Bobbie Singh-Allen read a prepared statement. She also played a recording of a person who called into the September 9 City Council Meeting to disparage Singh-Allen.
“She’s not running against them for mayor, it wouldn’t fit her victim narrative. Mayor Ly was neither on the school board or the city council in 2012 regarding Nancy Chaires Espinoza. Mayor Ly wasn’t even on the city council yet. That only happened when the majority of voters rejected Nancy Chaires Espinoza, very much like what they did to Darren Suen in 2018. Per the school district attorney, in short, Bobbie Singh-Allen can be a racist and bigot on her personal time even though she sits on the school board overseeing 63,000 students.”
The majority of the women who made allegations of harassment against Mayor Ly expressed that they felt harassed when supporters of Mayor Steve Ly would call into City Council meetings to disparage them. They believe that it gives credibility to their claims of bullying and harassment.
Editor’s note: The Elk Grove Tribune staff was notified on September 17 that Singh-Allen’s campaign misattributed a recording at the September 15 press conference. The recording was not of Mia Yang/Mia Foster. EGT received this message from Singh-Allen’s campaign team.
“We would like also note that the wrong audio file was played during our campaign’s press avail regarding the death threat against Trustee Bobbie Singh-Allen. Here is the correct audio file of part of Mia Foster’s testimony during the public comment portion of the 9/9/20 Elk Grove City Council meeting.”
Here is the audio file and transcript of Mia Yang/Mia Foster’s testimony at the Elk Grove City Council meeting September 9, 2020. According to Bobbie Singh-Allen’s team, this is the recording they intended to play during the press conference.
“We have addressed this issue with the Elk Grove School Board and we will continue to do so. Like you, you are attempting to avoid responsibility and Bobbie being Bobbie. This is validation that she didn’t do anything wrong. Silly girl, if you didn’t do anything wrong then the school board wouldn’t be working so hard to disassociate themselves from your so-called off-duty activities, now would they? Now on top of that there’s mounting evidence that Bobbie’s racist portrayals of the Hmong people has stirred the hearts of racists right here in Elk Grove.”
Additionally, here is the audio file of Mai Vue and the accompanying transcript. This is the recording that was played during the press conference on September 15 that was incorrectly attributed to Mia Yang. This recording is actually Mai Vue. Mai Vue called into the September 9 Elk Grove City Council meeting.
“Good evening, Mayor Ly and Council Members. I am Mai Vue. So I’m a little confused. Who is correct regarding jurisdiction, the city attorney or school district attorney per the city attorney? City council members have enough to agendaize [sic] and retribution for Mayor Lee, despite having no proof or evidence to support the allegations, except for their own personal vindictiveness. Never mind that there were three non-Hmong men applying for the same school board appointment in August 2012 as Bobbie Singh-Allen. Couldn’t it have been their clansmen have been the ones who came after her? Oh, right. No, because she’s not running against them for mayor. It wouldn’t fit her victim narrative. Mayor Ly was neither on the school board or city council in 2012 regarding Nancy Chaires Espinoza. Mayor Ly wasn’t even on the city council yet. That only happened when the majority of Elk Grove voters resoundingly rejected Nancy Chaires Espinoza, very much like what they did to Darren Suen in 2018 per the school district attorney. In short, Bobby Singh-Allen can be a racist and bigot on her personal time, even though she sits on the school board overseeing sixty-three thousand students per same attorney. The school district has no jurisdiction over her misconduct or numerous ethics violations. Unlike the unproven allegations against Mayor Ly, her racist and bigoted statements spew out and continue to do so out of her insufferable, ignorant and arrogant mouth.”
Statement by Bobbie Singh-Allen
“Racism is a real problem that effects and endangers people of color every day. There are racial justice protests going on because we as a society have a lot of work to do to ensure that Black people feel safe. Asian people have also seen a terrible upswing in racist abuse since the start of the pandemic. It is unconscionable to levy false accusations and weaponize racism in this climate. To fan the flames of the real suffering going on. It makes a mockery both the victims of racism and those working to dismantle it.
I woke up this morning to a message in my personal facebook from a person I dont know by the name of Kong Lee. The message was extremely offensive, saying F-you, calling me a racist and and ugly whore and ended saying that he wishes that I die slow. As you would imagine, I was shocked.
The concern for my safety and my family’s safety grew when one of the recent pictures in his profile showed several high caliber rifles and boxes of ammunition.
I shared the messages and the pictures with the Elk Grove Police Department right away and they are looking into the matter. The Case # is 20-005705
While this is the most threatening messages it is not an isolated incident. There have been other posts on social media and even testimony during City Council meetings that has been aggressive and/or down right threatening. During the August 12th City Council meeting )a man during public comment said this colored woman should “back the hell off.”
These are clear examples of the consequences of direct or indirect actions of Mayor Ly. Of his support of folks like Mia Foster’s unfounded accusations of racism towards me. The attorney for the Elk Grove School District has dismissed their accusations as political in nature.
These are the consequences of Mr Ly gaslighting his Hmong community saying in English to his council colleagues and the media he believes the stories of Elk Grove women of harassment that involve him, stories like mine and other local elected women and private citizens. And then turning around and saying to Hmong media in Hmong that these stories are rumors, lies and political attacks of women jealous of him.
I have a long history of standing up against bullying and against discrimination of any kind. I also as I have said before, continue to feel a great deal of sorrow and empathy towards the Hmong community. Not only for anything I may have said, that out of context were hurtful, but also for the pain they are suffering because they continue to be misled by people in their own community like Steve Ly.”
Statement by Assemblymember Jim Cooper
“Hi, I’m Assemblymember Jim Cooper. I represent the 9th district. I live here in Elk Grove. I was Elk Grove’s first mayor and spent 15 years in city council. It’s just concerning to see things. I saw the email this morning, the Facebook post. Here you have an individual with high capacity magazines and an assault rifle, threatening Ms. Singh, saying he wished she would die. That concerns me as a 30 year law enforcement veteran, to have things like this. In this day and age, you have to take these threats seriously.
If this was a school, a student, a law enforcement officer would be investigating that. We’ll see where this leads up. But it’s important that we not not take threats seriously. You have to in this day and age. You never know what someone’s gonna do, we’ve seen it, in our country. And right now our country is really in tinderbox and people want and do dumb things. And who knows who is going to incite. So it’s very troubling to have something like this and to go that far on Facebook and post it. And kind of a show of force and intimidation, to intimidate Ms. Singh. We don’t want that. We can’t tolerate that.
It’s ironic that the mayor said that he believed the women during a city council meeting, and then he turns around and says they’re liars. Well, you can’t have it both ways. It’s one of those things as the mayor we deserve better, we need better, we need better people. This can’t happen, it’s very divisive. I think it’s ironic when you pretty much have every elected official in the city that supports Ms. Singh. This says a lot about that support. So I’m going to stand with her and say we’re not going to tolerate this. It’s not okay to threaten people, especially in this day and age. Especially when we have women who have come forward that are credible that he agreed with and then to turn around and speak out of both sides of your mouth. And that doesn’t sit well with me and with a lot of folks in Elk Grove and that’s why we need to change.”
Background & Moving Forward
Bobbie Singh-Allen is not the only woman who has stepped forward with allegations against Mayor Steve Ly and his associates. This saga started when Elk Grove Tribune posted an Op-Ed by Linda Vwj, Steve Ly’s former campaign manager. Although Elk Grove Tribune also ran Mayor Steve Ly’s response, our Editor-In-Chief Dr. Jacqueline “Jax” Cheung also received threats and harassment. Afterward, EGUSD Board Trustee Nancy Chaires Espinoza, Cosumnes CSD Director Jaclyn Moreno, Planning Commissioner MacKenzie Wieser, and former mayoral candidate Michelle Kile stepped forward.
Important to note, in July, the Elk Grove City Council considered censuring the mayor but instead voted to refer the case to the Sacramento Grand Jury.
In August, Mayor Steve Ly apologized to the women, said he believed them, and asked his supporters to “stop the reprehensible behavior.”
Singh-Allen and the other women who have stepped forward with allegations have voiced their frustration with Mayor Ly. A court-approved translator translated two of his interviews on Hmong television news media networks. The court-approved translator transcribed that Steve Ly said that the women were lying and they did it just to get him elected.
Mayor Ly has made another statement to his supporters.
“I am condemning period, any sort of threats, any sort of bullying, any sort of intimidation. It’s just purely wrong.”
Local real estate agent and business owner Nikki Nguyen spoke out in support of Bobbie Singh-Allen.
“I feel very honored that she would come out and hear what we deal with. What’s the struggle as a business owner. I do real estate in the local area and so I really love my community.”
Nguyen also pointed out Bobbie’s courage.
“It’s scary because she’s risking her life to stand. And you know, you shouldn’t be afraid to speak out. And it should be a freedom of hey, we all have the opportunity to vote. We shouldn’t feel threatened. We run fair, we fight fair. That’s the way it should be.”
With less than 60 days to go until this fall’s election, it is clear that the Elk Grove mayoral race will be interesting, to say the least. It is also equally clear, the harassment endured by the women who have come forward is not helping Mayor Steve Ly’s campaign for re-election.
*Previously we said it was the August 12 City Council meeting that the recording was played from. It was actually September 9.*