Political society

Alexandria Bordas Named Journalist of the Year by the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists

The Northern California branch of the Society of Professional Journalists has named Alexandria Bordas its Journalist of the Year. The SPJ NorCal Board of Directors Award honors an individual for their “extraordinary journalistic contributions over the past year,” according to the organization.

Bordas and fellow Chronicle investigative reporter Cynthia Dizikes have spent most of 2020 exposing sexual assault allegations against Dominic Foppoli, the popular young mayor of the town of Wine Country in Windsor.

The series of investigations, which launched in April 2021 with four female accounts, ultimately resulted in 13 women coming forward with allegations of sexual assault or misconduct against Foppoli, who denied the charges but resigned from his seat. mayor in May.

In response to Bordas and Dizikes’ work, the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office launched a criminal investigation into the allegations against Foppoli, raiding his Windsor home in November. The former mayor is also the subject of a second criminal investigation into a sexual assault allegation in Florida, as well as two investigations by the California Fair Political Practices Commission into his spending and conduct in office.

“It is an absolute honor to accept this award on behalf of the dozens of people who have supported this series, including my talented and supportive reporting partner, Cynthia, and each of the women who have brought us into their lives and us. allowed their stories to be shared on a national stage,” Bordas said. “I will forever be touched by their courage.”

Bordas first pitched a story about the sexual assault allegations of two women against Foppoli to his former employer, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, in 2019. When his editors were unresponsive, Bordas eventually left the paper and pitched the story to The Chronicle as a freelancer. .

With Dizikes, Bordas spent six months reporting and writing the first article of the investigation, which was published last April. Reporters then examined how local institutions, including Windsor City Council and a prominent civic club, enabled Foppoli to carry out the assaults.

Bordas became a part-time Chronicle staffer in January 2021 and joined the investigative team as a full-time staffer last summer.

“Ally is a remarkable, human, woman journalist who we are proud to call one of our own,” said Lisa Gartner, editor of the Chronicle. “We are immensely proud of her work and delighted to see the Society of Professional Journalists come to a similar conclusion in recognizing her.”

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