As children, most of our parents read us Aesop’s fable, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”  The story involves a shepherd boy who repeatedly tricks nearby villagers into thinking a wolf is attacking his town’s flock.

When a wolf really does appear and the boy calls for help, the villagers believe that it is another false alarm and the wolf devours the sheep.

Teachers have used the fable as a cautionary tale about telling the truth.

Couldn’t help but think of the beloved fable last week as the drama of Rita Lamb and the Restraining Order Request unfolded in spectacular fashion. She dragged a man’s name through the mud, wasted the Superior Court’s precious time, and did a grave disservice to women who seek Restraining Orders out of fear for their lives.

Lamb cried wolf on Aug. 7 when she sought a restraining order against Alan Carvalho in Riverside County Superior Court. Carvalho is the spouse of Shelley Kaplan, Lamb’s only challenger in the special election.

The Woman Who Cried Wolf [Column]She was the third person to seek a restraining order against Carvalho. The first two — both from Cove residents — were denied. Lamb’s request for a temporary restraining order was immediately denied. Translation: Carvalho posed no immediate threat or danger.

Lamb claimed she was “afraid” and “frightened.”  She portrayed him as a lunatic, claiming he “lit” into her and was “pointing” his finger at her.

Her supporters encouraged her. They claimed there were three eyewitnesses. Two would not talk.

Lamb, who was repeatedly described as a “really nice lady” throughout the campaign knew exactly what she was doing. Any time a candidate for public office files a restraining order against a constituent, especially an opponent, and says she afraid of him, it’s bound to generate headlines. And, boy did it ever. Her allegation was splashed across broadcast, print, and digital media platforms.

What “really nice lady” falsely accuses a man?

She cried wolf.

Her own attorney said she had no case. If that was the case, why did she carry through with the charade?

It was no coincidence that she withdrew her request less than 24 hours after Election Day results showed her winning. She achieved what she wanted to. Mission accomplished. She now wants to portray herself as a “unifier.”

Following is an unedited video clip used with Alan Carvalho’s permission. This is one of the instances in which Lamb claims she was “afraid” and “frightened.”

Alan Carvalho might be many things, but he would not hurt anyone. He’s opinionated, passionate, sometimes loud, and sometimes abrasive.

I first met him less than two years ago at a women’s rally in Palm Springs. He walked up to me and, in his way, asked why I was supporting a particular Republican candidate. He towered above me and wanted an answer. I told him what I thought and he left. That was our first encounter. I had no clue who he was.

Was I scared? No.

Was I frightened? No.

Did I need some he-man to come between us? No, I have a spine.

Did I feel the need to file a restraining order? Absolutely not.

In the following weeks and months I became more acquainted with him. We have never met for coffee, breakfast, or lunch. I have never been to his home. Our entire professional relationship has transpired inside the City Council Chambers.

In fact, it was in the City Council Chambers he graciously volunteered to introduce me to Lamb, whom I had never met. She certainly was not afraid of him that night.

Lamb and her husband have been neighbors with Carvalho and Kaplan for years. She routinely walks her dog past their house. Never, until an election cycle, did she claim to be afraid. Her quest to win at all costs prevailed.

There have been more times than I care to tell you that Carvalho has taken me to task on Facebook for something he does not like. He has also called, in an elevated tone, to share his opinion. He is entitled. His words can sometimes sting, but I have never been afraid or frightened. Never.

What concerns me is what I’ve been told is coming next.

One of Lamb’s handlers has told me that once the election was over, he planned to meet with Mayor Mark Carnevale to request that Carvalho, an openly gay man, be removed from the Cathedral City Public Arts Commission. Carvalho currently serves as the chair. He term is set to expire in June 2020.

Lamb’s handler is also pushing a story about an openly gay employee at the Cathedral City Senior Center who has allegedly posted some questionable material on Facebook. The handler claims he has screenshots.

What is this really all about?

Note to self: Be wary of the woman who cried wolf.


Image Sources

  • TRO: Shutterstock
  • Deception: Shutterstock