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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.