CATHEDRAL CITY – Rita Lamb, a candidate in the District 1 special election, has filed a Civil Harassment Restraining Order against Shelley Kaplan’s spouse, Alan Carvalho, saying she is “scared” and “frightened” of him.
The civil harassment case, Lamb v. Carvalho, has been assigned to the Honorable Mickie Reed. The court date has been set for Aug. 28.
Carvalho is expected to be served as soon as today, Friday, Aug. 9.
In a statement to Uken Report, Kaplan said, “I believe the most recent alleged restraining order against my husband is part of a six-month political campaign stunt. My husband has not even been served yet by Mrs. Lamb’s (sic); however, she notifies the media first of its existence. Two of her biggest supporters started this campaign stunt back in February and March as a way to deter my interest in running for re-election. They used a court proceeding to try to embarrass me. The courts ruled that there was absolutely no evidence of any activity that rises to the level of a restraining order and that this was simply politics. Now, just two weeks prior to the election, her campaign comes out with another bogus restraining order.
“What this really is about is that I was one of the key deciding votes to make Cathedral City a Sanctuary City and for the fact that I am a gay man running for city council,” Kaplan said. “Mrs. Lamb’s husband, campaign manager, and primary supporter has accused us of being “heterophobes”. I believe this is code for them being anti-LGBTQ.
“We are running in a district that is more than 60% Hispanic and at least 30% LGBTQ,” Kaplan said. “This is about reversing the progress that has been made over the past four years and to eliminate the progress made by our late Mayor Greg Pettis who represented this district as an openly gay man. It is a simple as that.”
A Civil Harassment Restraining Order is a court order that protects people from harassment. You can ask for this court order if you are worried about your safety because someone stalked, harassed, threatened you with violence, financially abused you, or sexually assaulted you.
The court can order a person not to: threaten or harass you, contact or go near you, your home, your work, or have a gun. You can also ask for protection for your family members or other household members. You can get a Civil Harassment Restraining Order against people who are not close to you, such as roommates, neighbors, co-workers, or non-immediate family members.
It can remain in effect up to three years, according to the Superior Court of California Riverside County website.
Kaplan is also seeking the District 1 seat. He and Lamb are the only two candidates on the ballot. The Aug. 27 election is a vote-by-mail election only. Voting is currently underway.
Lamb told Uken Report she filed the restraining order on Wednesday, Aug. 7 in Riverside County Superior Court in Palm Springs after Carvalho allegedly verbally assaulted her for the second time in three days. Kaplan was reportedly by his side during one of the confrontations.
The first incident was at the 80th birthday celebration for Robert (Bob) McKechnie, the former executive director of the Cathedral City Senior Center. The party was at the Senior Center with an estimated 100 people in attendance.
Both Kaplan and Carvalho were in attendance. Carvalho was reportedly wearing a Re-elect Shelley Kaplan shirt as though it were a campaign event. Lamb said she saw them both but there was no interaction.
At one point in the evening when Lamb’s husband, David, stepped away from her side, Carvalho allegedly approached her and was visibly angry.
“He lit into me,” Lamb said of Carvalho. “He was pointing his finger at me. He was in a tirade. He’s a big man. It scared me. It frightened me. He was yelling at me about some video I used that he said was copyrighted. It wasn’t expected and was completely inappropriate.”
A friend, Steve Kelly, stepped in between them, Lamb said, or she is afraid he would have continued.
She said Kaplan was nowhere near when the incident allegedly occurred.
There were at least two eyewitnesses, Lamb said. Only one would speak for publication.
“I witnessed Mr. Carvalho approach Mrs. Lamb and in a very loud voice, he started talking about copyright infringement,” Steve Kelly, a public supporter of Lamb, told Uken Report. “He was loud and aggressive. Mrs. Lamb looked frightened. I got up between the two and walked him away from her. I told him his behavior was ludicrous. I served with him on the Public Arts Commission and was stunned by his behavior. In a 24 year local media career, I have never witnessed this.”
Kelly emphasized that, “Mr. Kaplan was not involved in any of this.”
The second incident occurred on Sunday, Aug. 4.
Lamb and her husband were relocating one of her campaign signs on the northwest corner of Cathedral Canyon Drive and Highway 111. The city had advised Lamb that her sign did not meet city regulations, Lamb, said, so they were working to bring the sign into compliance.
Carvalho, with Kaplan by his side, allegedly started “yelling,” Lamb said. He was reportedly 10 to 15 feet away.
“Alan started yelling at me about not representing thee LGBTQ community,” Lamb told Uken Report. “He said my sign was in the wrong place. Shelley was standing next to him and said nothing.”
David Lamb said Carvalho yelled at him, too, allegedly saying, “You were told to take the sign down.”
Lamb said her sign is in compliance and there is no need to take it down.
“What are you going to do, file a restraining order?” Carvalho allegedly said snidely.
“That’s what I will do,” Lamb reportedly retorted.
“I don’t want to be bullied or frightened,” Lamb told Uken Report. “I am a private citizen running for public office. I thought long and hard before filing the restraining order, but I want to be comfortable at my meet-and-greets and not bullied or intimidated.”
Lamb and her husband are neighbors with Kaplan and Carvalho.
- Who’s Leaving, Who’s Staying In Cathedral City?: City of Cathedral City
- Rita Lamb: KCOD
- Alan Carvalho: Facebook
- Restraining Order: Cindy Uken