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Drug charges against Nadia Lockyer dismissed

An Orange County judge dismissed drug charges Friday against former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, according to reports from the Associated Press and Los Angeles Times.

OC weekly coverA court spokeswoman told the AP the charges were dropped at prosecutors request; the Times reports she agreed to attend a drug diversion program.

Lockyer early in 2012 had claimed Stephen Chikhani attacked her in a Newark hotel room, but the state Justice Department investigated and eventually declined to charge him with any crime. As details emerged about Lockyer’s lengthy affair with Chikhani and their drug use, she resigned her supervisorial seat in April 2012.

Bill Lockyer filed for divorce a few months later, citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking joint physical and legal custody of their son. Then Nadia Lockyer was arrested in August 2012 in Orange County and charged with felony methamphetamine possession and three misdemeanors: being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child abuse and endangerment. She spent several months in a residential rehabilitation program and has been under court supervision ever since.

Nadia Lockyer also was the subject of a lengthy cover story in this week’s OC Weekly.

Posted on Friday, January 17th, 2014
Under: Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Bill Lockyer | No Comments »

Bill Lockyer has a new private-sector job

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer has joined the Orange County office of an international law firm, where he’ll practice law part-time until his term in office ends in January 2015.

Lockyer 2012 (no background)“I’m excited to join Brown Rudnick,” Lockyer said in a news release issued by the firm. “I’m attracted by the firm’s reputation for excellence, its entrepreneurial spirit and collaborative culture, and I like the people. Brown Rudnick only recently established an office in California, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of helping my colleagues grow the firm’s presence here on the West Coast. I will continue to devote all of the considerable time and attention necessary to carry out my responsibilities as State Treasurer, as I have throughout my time in public service.”

Lockyer, 72, of Hayward, announced in June that he would not run for state controller in 2014, ending a 46-year political career that began with a local Democratic committee and culminated with 16 years in statewide office. “It’s time to do something different,” he had said at the time. “Being controller has its unique challenges, but it’s not what I want to do next in my life. … It’s different but it’s still fiscal management, and I need a new challenge.”

He also had said his troubled relationship with his wife, former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer – whose extramarital affair and drug addiction had put them in the headlines and their marriage temporarily on the rocks – didn’t influence his career decision.

Lockyer will serve on the government law and strategies team at Brown Rudnick, which has about 200 attorneys in cities including Boston, New York, Washington, London and Dublin. Chairman and CEO Joseph Ryan said the firm is delighted to welcome Lockyer to a capacity “which will fully accommodate his duties as State Treasurer.”

“Over the last 45 years, Bill has distinguished himself as one of California’s most admired and trusted leaders,” Ryan said in the release. “He has proven himself to be an exceptional public servant and our employment agreement will ensure that he can continue to discharge his public responsibilities free from distractions, conflicts or time constraints while being associated with Brown Rudnick. Even though Bill will be able to devote only limited time to private practice over the next year, I am sure he will quickly become a highly valued adviser to our clients.”

Ron Rus, head of Brown Rudnick’s Orange County office, added Lockyer’s knowledge and experience “will be of enormous importance to our clients working to develop and implement their business strategies in California and beyond.”


UPDATE @ 3:11 P.M.:
Read my full story on this, including an interview with Lockyer and questions about possible conflicts.

Posted on Monday, December 16th, 2013
Under: Bill Lockyer | 6 Comments »

Bill Lockyer endorses Eric Swalwell for re-elction

Lest you think Rep. Mike Honda’s 17th Congressional District is the only Bay Area race where incumbents are trying to get an early leg up on their challengers, Rep. Eric Swalwell fired a shot across his challenger’s bow Monday morning.

Swalwell, D-Pleasanton, announced he has the endorsement of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer for re-election to his 15th Congressional District seat.

“I’m for Congressman Eric Swalwell because I’ve seen him bring great energy and smart thinking to his job, and the determination to listen well to the people and work very hard for them every day,” Lockyer said in Swalwell’s news release. “Eric is getting good things done in Washington and at home, he has earned another term in Congress, and his re-election will be good news for his district and the nation.”

Lockyer’s endorsement is significant not only because he’s the longest serving statewide elected official, but also because he’s a powerful figure in Alameda County politics – particularly in the areas where Swalwell’s challenger, state Sen. Ellen Corbett, runs strongest.

Corbett, D-San Leandro, is looking to her home base on the west side of the hills for strength, but Lockyer’s word could carry significant sway there: He served many of the same areas during his 25 years in the Legislature that Corbett now does. He lives in Hayward now, but started his career in elected office (in 1968!) as a San Leandro Unified School District board member. Corbett as a college student did an internship in then-Assemblyman Lockyer’s office; he spoke at Corbett’s Senate swearing-in ceremony in 2007.

Eric SwalwellSwalwell said he’s honored to have Lockyer’s support.

“He has always been a fierce defender of his constituents and committed to improving the lives of the middle class and those less fortunate,” Swalwell said. “I admire Treasurer Lockyer’s unwavering commitment to his Democratic ideals while also working toward compromise if it will benefit the people. He has provided steady stewardship of California’s finances as Treasurer and I share his priorities to improve our economy and responsibly manage the people’s money.”

Posted on Monday, November 18th, 2013
Under: Bill Lockyer, Ellen Corbett, Eric Swalwell, U.S. House | 9 Comments »

Nadia Lockyer interview to air later this week

Former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer – wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer – apparently has given a Bay Area television station an interview on her recovery from methamphetamine addiction.

Lockyer, 42, of Hayward, posted a message on her Facebook page Monday indicating that KGO ABC7 News will “will be airing a 2-part story about my life,” with the first segment airing during the 11 p.m. newscast Thursday and the second at 11 p.m. Sunday.

Lockyer early in 2012 had claimed Stephen Chikhani attacked her in a Newark hotel room, but the state Justice Department investigated and eventually declined to charge him with any crime. As details emerged about Lockyer’s lengthy affair with Chikhani and their drug use, she resigned her supervisorial seat in April 2012.

Bill Lockyer, 72, filed for divorce a few months later, citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking joint physical and legal custody of their son. Then Nadia Lockyer was arrested in August 2012 in Orange County and charged with felony methamphetamine possession and three misdemeanors: being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child abuse and endangerment. She spent several months in a residential rehabilitation program and now remains under court supervision; her next progress report is scheduled for Nov. 14.

But her husband announced in March that he had withdrawn the divorce papers in hope of reconciling for their son’s sake. When he announced in June that he’ll not seek the state controller’s office next year and instead retire from public office, he said he was “looking forward to family reunification.”

Nadia Lockyer in April 2012 gave the Bay Area News Group an exclusive, videotaped interview in which she apologized to her constituents and promised to focus on her family and recovery from addiction, but many of her troubles were still ahead of her at that time. It’ll be interesting to hear what she says now that she (hopefully) has finished this awful roller-coaster ride and started moving on with her life.

Posted on Monday, October 28th, 2013
Under: Bill Lockyer | 4 Comments »

Betty Yee rolls out campaign team for controller

Rep. Mike Honda and challenger Ro Khanna aren’t the only ones getting an early start on their campaign rollouts: Board of Equalization member Betty Yee this week announced her campaign team for her 2014 bid for state controller – but she, too, might have some heavy-hitting fellow Democrats to contend with.

Betty YeeYee said Parke Skelton of SG&A Campaigns in Pasadena will be her lead consultant. That firm helped Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, Secretary of State Debra Bowen and current Controller John Chiang win their races.

And Nick Veach, a Long Beach native who recently worked on U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s campaign, will serve as the campaign’s finance and fundraising director. “Nick brings tremendous energy to my campaign after helping to elect the nation’s first openly gay member to the United States Senate in an upset victory,” Yee said in a news release.

Yee was elected to the Board of Equalization in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. Earlier, she served as the state Finance Department’s chief deputy director for budget, where she led the development of the Governor’s Budget, negotiations with the Legislature and key budget stakeholders, and fiscal analysis of legislation on behalf of the administration. Earlier yet, she senior staff positions on several fiscal and policy committees in both houses of the Legislature.

She won’t be the only Democrat seeking the controller’s office next year. Other Democrats who’ve filed statements of intention to run include state Sen. Ron Calderon, former state Sen. Dean Florez and former Assemblyman Dario Frommer, as well as state Treasurer Bill Lockyer – a presumptive favorite, given his long record and fundraising prowess. I have it on good authority that at least one or two of the former lawmakers won’t get into the race if Lockyer does, but Yee obviously is going for the gusto one way or the other.

Posted on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Under: 2014 primary, Bill Lockyer | 1 Comment »

Attorney: Nadia Lockyer out of rehab & doing well

Former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer has finished six months of inpatient rehabilitation for methamphetamine addiction and is “doing just fine,” her criminal defense attorney said Tuesday afternoon.

Lockyer, 41, the estranged wife of state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, had a pre-trial hearing scheduled Tuesday morning in Orange County Superior Court, but the prosecutor was tied up with another case and so Lockyer’s was put over until next Thursday, March 14, according to attorney Allan Stokke.

Police last Aug. 28 went to the home where Lockyer and her 9-year-old son, Diego, were staying after a caller tipped them that she might have drugs there, prosecutors said in September. Officers found a tube of aluminum foil with a burned end, and when they met Lockyer later that day she showed signs of being under the influence of drugs.

She was arrested and charged with felony methamphetamine possession and three misdemeanors: being under the influence of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and child abuse and endangerment.

Lockyer went into National Therapeutic Services’ residential drug-treatment program in Newport Beach on Aug. 31; the program lasts 180 days, and so she finished recently.

Stokke said the judge is happy with Lockyer’s progress and “we’re going to decide what to do next week when we get together again.”

Lockyer early last year had claimed Stephen Chikhani attacked her Feb. 3 in a Newark hotel room, but the state Justice Department investigated and eventually declined to charge him with any crime. As details emerged about Lockyer’s lengthy affair with Chikhani and their drug use, she resigned her supervisorial seat last April.

Bill Lockyer, 71, had filed for divorce in July, citing “irreconcilable differences” and seeking joint physical and legal custody of their son. After Nadia Lockyer ‘s August arrest, a judge ruled she could see their son but only under her estranged husband’s supervision. The boy is living with his father in Hayward.

Posted on Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
Under: Bill Lockyer | 2 Comments »

Lockyer: Pension funds should dump gunmakers

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer wants the state’s gigantic public pension funds to divest themselves of investments in any firearm manufacturer that makes guns banned in California.

Lockyer said Monday that he has asked staff at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to identify all their investments in gun manufacturers. As treasurer, Lockyer sits on both systems’ boards.

The request follows reports that CalSTRS indirectly owns a part of Bushmaster Firearms International, the North Carolina-based maker of the .223-caliber assault rifle that Adam Lanza used in his murderous spree Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Lanza killed 20 children, six adults and himself.

“STRS and PERS should not be investing in any company that makes guns that are illegal in California, especially ones used to kill 20 innocent children and 6 innocent adults,” Lockyer said Monday.

Reuters reports CalSTRS had invested $751.4 million with Cerberus by the end of March 2012, according to its website. Cerberus owns Madison, North Carolina-based Freedom Group Inc., which includes Bushmaster.

Bushmaster’s XM15 line of rifles are specifically banned by California’s assault weapons law.

Posted on Monday, December 17th, 2012
Under: Bill Lockyer, Public safety | 12 Comments »

California parents value college but aren’t saving

California parents value a college education more than a good-paying job for their kids, but most have not started saving to help pay for that education, according to a new survey conducted for ScholarShare, the state’s “529” college savings plan.

“The good news is parents realize the importance of a college degree to their kids’ future and economic prosperity,” State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, who chairs the ScholarShare Investment Board, said in a news release. “The bad news is higher education costs continue to rise, and most parents have not been able to start making preparations to help ensure their family can afford those costs. A ScholarShare account can help fill that critical financial need.”

Named for the section of the IRS code under which they were created, 529 plans let earnings on investments grow tax-deferred, and disbursements, when used for tuition and other qualified higher education expenses, are federal and state tax-free. ScholarShare accounts can be opened with as little as $25, or $15 when combined with regular, automatic monthly contributions of at least $15. The program has no annual account maintenance fee, no income limit and offers a high maximum contribution cap of $350,000. ScholarShare now holds more than $4.4 billion in assets in about 250,000 accounts.

The survey conducted by Hart Research Associates found 84 percent of parents considered it “very important” that their children attend college. That’s a higher percentage than those who prioritized having a good-paying job (75 percent) or owning a home (69 percent). Latino (93 percent), black (88 percent) and Asian (90 percent) parents said attending college was “very important” at significantly higher rates than white parents (72 percent). And 78 percent of parents overall said a college education was more important now than it was 10 years ago.

The survey also that when asked what they would be willing to do to improve their current financial situation, 65 percent of parents would be willing to delay their retirement and 46 percent would be willing to save less for their retirement. But only 45 percent said they would delay saving for their kids’ college education and 40 percent said they would save less for their kids’ education.

Yet most parents worry about being able to afford their kids’ tuition: 53 percent said they’re “very concerned” about their ability to pay.

Only 43 percent of parents have a college savings account. Parents who have been saving more than 10 years have set aside an average of $25,193, compared to $14,733 for those saving 6-10 years and $4,663 for those saving five years or less.

Fifty-nine percent of parents surveyed said it’s certain or very likely their children will attend a University of California or California State University school; 51 percent said it was certain or very likely their children would go to a community college; and only 26 percent said it was certain or very likely their children would attend a private university. (That adds up to more than 100 percent because the “very likelies” have some either-or.)

And 44 percent of parents said they expected scholarships or grants to cover at least half of their children’s higher education costs; 35 percent said cost coverage would come from their own savings and income, and 28 percent said it would come from student loans. (That adds up to more than 100 percent because parents expect to use more than one funding source.)

Posted on Wednesday, September 19th, 2012
Under: Bill Lockyer, education | No Comments »

Lockyer quits pension study panel, blasts report

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer today resigned from a pension advisory panel of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, questioning the methodology and conclusions in the think-tank’s new public pension study.

The SIEPR study, released today and authored by former Assemblyman Joe Nation, D-San Rafael, estimates the state’s unfunded public worker pension liability at almost $500 billion and calls for pension reforms including benefit reductions for current employees.

“When it comes to public pensions, maybe SIEPR should stand for ‘Stanford Institute to Eviscerate People’s Retirement,.’” Lockyer spokesman Joe DeAnda said today. “Nation approached Lockyer to join the advisory panel after Lockyer strongly criticized SIEPR’s April 2010 report on public pensions. Lockyer agreed to join the advisory panel because he believed SIEPR was interested in producing more thoughtful, evidence-based reports. Unfortunately, that turned out not to be the case.

“While Nation may have listened selectively to certain advisors, Lockyer certainly wasn’t one of them, and his concerns about methodology and other issues were ignored. SIEPR clearly has a public pension agenda, and it doesn’t include legitimate research.”

UPDATE @ 4:40 P.M.: This just in from Joe Nation (you’ll need to read Lockyer’s criticisms of the report after the jump in order for this to make sense, but I didn’t want to bury Nation’s reply) –

I am disappointed that Treasurer Lockyer has decided to withdraw from our effort to reform California’s public employee pension systems. I do not recall any specific suggestions from him (since he was unable to attend any meetings) or from his staff on methodology, but his statement suggests that he believes that we should have considered only one discount and investment rate, 7.75 percent. In direct response to his statement:

Table 8 of the report is correct. The “roughly 6 percent” rate noted is indeed the discount rate used by most corporations for reporting the present value of pension fund liabilities. As the Treasurer no doubt knows, corporations are required to use a different discount rate for reporting liabilities than the rate they use as an assumption for returns on assets set aside to meet those liabilities.
Regarding investment return assumptions, I share the Treasurer’s concern about corporations that — like California’s pension funds — are employing unrealistic assumptions such as the 7.8 percent figure he refers to in his statement. I reference Warren Buffett’s letter on this very point. As he points out, when it comes to dangerously inflated assumptions of returns on pension fund assets, both corporations and governments are guilty.

Our report assesses pension financial health using discount rates from 4.5 percent to 9.5 percent. Even in the 9.5 percent scenario, which is very unlikely based on either historical performance or current projections, CalPERS and CalSTRS are unable to meet their obligations. Lockyer’s fixation on a 7.75 percent rate is precisely the reason that pension systems find themselves in poor conditions. And repeating private sector mistakes doesn’t help us. Just as we saw with Lehman, AGI, Bear Sterns, and others, understating debt and betting our financial future on unrealistic assumptions will only make the problem worse. In fact, each day that we ignore the public pension crisis costs California $3.4 million that could be better spent on education, social services, and protecting our environment.

Finally, other researchers have concluded that CalPERS and CalSTRS are in worse shape than we describe. Alicia, Munnell, a Democrat member of Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors, uses methodology that put CalPERS at 56 percent funded and CalSTRS at 39 percent (far lower than our assessments). A consensus is growing that aggressive action is needed to reform our broken pension system. I hope Mr. Lockyer will consider re-joining that effort.

Grant Boyken, Lockyer’s top pension aide, e-mailed Nation today with Lockyer’s resignation. Read the full text of that e-mail, after the jump….
Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on Tuesday, December 13th, 2011
Under: Bill Lockyer, pension reform | 3 Comments »

Lockyers hosting Assembly fundraiser tonight

State Treasurer Bill Lockyer and his wife, Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, are hosting a fundraiser tonight for Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, with some other Assembly candidates on the guest list as well.

Tickets to the wine reception at Wieckowski’s home start at $50 with sponsorships ranging up to $3,900, the maximum personal contribution to a legislative committee allowed by law.

Wieckowski, a freshman and former Fremont City Councilman, won the 20th District seat in November with 73 percent of the vote to Republican nominee Adnan Shahab’s 27 percent; Shahab has formed a committee to run again in 2012.

It won’t be nearly the same race, however. A first-draft map issued recently by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission shows the district in which both Wieckowski and Shahab reside would be markedly different from the 20th District’s existing lines.

Bill Lockyer’s fundraising prowess is legendary. His own Lockyer for Treasurer 2010 committee finished 2010 with just under $3 million in the bank, after both repelling a challenge from Republican nominee Mimi Walters and giving his wife’s supervisorial campaign more than $1.5 million. He has formed a committee to run for state controller in 2014.

Among those scheduled to attend tonight’s event, according to Facebook, is Peralta Community College District Trustee Abel Guillen of Oakland, who has formed his own committee to run for Assembly next year. Guillen lives in the 16th Assembly District, where Sandre Swanson will be term-limited out.

Also scheduled to attend tonight is Dr. Jennifer Ong, a Hayward optometrist who has formed a committee to run next year in the 18th Assembly District, where Mary Hayashi is term-limited out.

Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2011
Under: Assembly, Bill Lockyer, Bob Wieckowski, campaign finance, Mary Hayashi, Sandre Swanson | 5 Comments »