On Wednesday, June 16, 2021, Carl Robinson held a campaign reelection announcement at the Mesa Street Bar & Grill. It was by invitation only. Democratic Party Chairwoman Dora Oaxaca was not invited. Nonetheless she went to the event with Isela Castañon-Williams. Williams was involved in the El Paso School District (EPISD) cheating scandal and Oaxaca recently was accused of intimidating a poll sitter. Oaxaca was asked to leave the event by Lily Limón because she was not on the invitation list. Limón was handling the registration desk at the time. Oaxaca ignored the request to leave.
Castañon-Williams was the board president of the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) when Lorenzo García was arrested and charged on federal fraud charges in 2011. In 2012 he pleaded guilty to fraud. He also admitted to illegally gaming the No Child Left Behind test scores for the school district. Isela Castañon-Williams was removed as president of the EPISD Board, along with the other trustees by Texas authorities, after she refused to resign as demanded by community leaders.
Isela Castañon-Williams told KVIA on June 16, 2012 “that the incident should never have occurred,” referring to the fraud, but refused to accept that the Board of Trustees failed in their duties of oversight.
Oaxaca Accused of Accosting Poll Sitter
In October 2020, as reported by this publication, Dora Oaxaca was accused of accosting a poll sitter at the Carolina Center. Radio host Iris Leppard reported being harassed by Dora Oaxaca through social media because Leppard was supporting a candidate at the polls. Leppard told the El Paso Politics that Oaxaca was attempting to “intimidate” her.
This was not the first time that Oaxaca had caused controversy within the Democratic Party. In 2017, Oaxaca controversially attended a Republican event while members of the Democratic Party were outside protesting Donald Trump’s attacks on Latinos.
The Alleged Assault
Dora Oaxaca accused Lily Limón of assaulting her at the Carl Robinson event. However, according to exclusive surveillance video of the event obtained by El Paso Politics, Oaxaca spent almost an hour circulating the event after she allegedly was assaulted by Lily Limón.
Additionally, we obtained a copy of video taken of Dora Oaxaca recording the surveillance tape at the restaurant.
According to several individuals contacted by the El Paso Politics, KVIA reported the assault as breaking news that night. According to the readers, Dora Oaxaca alleged that Limón assaulted her as she arrived at the event. El Paso Politics was unable to view the KVIA report because it was not posted online.
According to an email from KVIA’s news director, Brenda De Anda-Swann on June 18, 2021, the station reported the incident that night but never posted it online. According to De Anda Swann, “some stories not assigned to reporters don’t make it online”.
However, in addition to the surveillance video there were several witnesses that reported that an assault did not occur, including a news photographer who was at the entrance at the time of the incident. Because of the presence of the news photographer, who said they did not witness the alleged incident, other news stations did not run the story according to several individuals we asked.
More important is that several law enforcement officials were present at the event, including the leaderships of the El Paso Police Union, the Sheriff’s Union and constables. This begs the question, why did Dora Oaxaca not ask them to intervene immediately after the alleged assault? Why contact the news media instead of law enforcement to report the assault?
On June 16, 2021, several Democratic Party leaders sent a letter to Dora Oaxaca accusing her of abusive behavior towards party guests and precinct chairs. The letter adds that Oaxaca’s “lack of transparency is frightening.” The letter closed with a demand that Oaxaca “receive training in conducting meetings.”
Lily Limón Responds
Lily Limón responded to our request for comment via a text message. She wrote:
“The accusations leveled against me are false. I never touched either woman who are accusing me of an assault charge. I was at the event greeting our guests. When they arrived I asked them what they were doing there since neither one was on the guest list. One responded that she had a check and proceeded to walk directly in front of me to enter the venue. The second woman proceeded to follow her as well but she looked towards me and made a comment towards me that she was going to file TRO against me.”
She continued, “I never touched her in any way. The three persons at the registration table will attest that I never touched either woman. There were two persons inside the venue that were close to me as well. One said he heard one of them say she was going to file against me. The other person didn’t hear anything. A man was getting ready to enter the venue behind the women and witnessed it all. I have not received any notification from the police concerning these allegations.”
Limón concluded, “I believe that the women were angry when they entered the venue because the party chair had received a very critical letter from numerous democratic organizations. I was probably the first person they saw and decided to take out their frustrations on me. I never touched either woman.”
No Police Report
As of this morning a police report has not been filed by either Dora Oaxaca or Isela Castañon-Williams against Lily Limón for the alleged assault, according to police officials. As of a few minutes ago “there are no reported incidents having occurred” at the Mesa Street Bar & Grill “between the 14th and today,” according to the Police Department.
Criminal Charges Or Lawsuit?
As the target of the political smear campaign, Lily Limón has two options. The first is to ignore it. The second is to file a lawsuit or criminal charges. Limón can choose to file a slander lawsuit against Dora Oaxaca with or without a police report unless Oaxaca can prove that the alleged assault occurred. On the other hand, if Oaxaca files a police report and as the evidence suggests an assault did not occur, Lily Limón can ask that criminal charges be filed against Dora Oaxaca for filing a false police report.
The Whisper Campaign
Because Dora Oaxaca is upset about the letter from Democratic Party officials questioning her leadership, she shopped her allegation to the news media in hopes of making the allegation public. Except for the short report by KVIA, no other news media seemed interested in picking up the alleged assault story, especially after they were shown the letter by party officials about Oaxaca’s leadership problems.
However, Jaime Abeytia who runs a blog used by political operatives for whisper campaigns published the alleged story on June 17. Abeytia has an extensive criminal record and is known for acting as a political operative for politicians trying to generate negative stories about their opponents.
As can be observed by the screen capture of Abeytia’s blog post, he references a non-existent police report to base his whole post on. Because the police report does not exist, Abeytia’s whole post is nothing more than a political whisper campaign orchestrated by Dora Oaxaca.