California state Treasurer Bill Lockyer's differences with his estranged wife, former Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, might not be so irreconcilable after all.
The 71-year-old mainstay of state Democratic politics this week withdrew divorce papers he had filed last July against his 41-year-old wife, whose methamphetamine addiction and extramarital affair ended her political career and could have stained his.
"He and Nadia have agreed to try and work things out, to try and reconcile," said Tom Dresslar, Bill Lockyer's spokesman. "He's proud of the progress she has made in her treatment, and they are both looking forward and not backward."
Nadia Lockyer, a former Alameda County supervisor, issued a statement Thursday through her attorney, Allan Stokke, who is defending her against criminal charges in Orange County.
"I thank my husband and family for their unwavering support. Bill and I agree reconciliation would be best for Diego (their 9-year-old son) and for us, and we're committed to reaching that goal," she said. "Addicts cannot achieve a safe and healthy life unless we take responsibility for our actions and conquer our addiction first. I pray that all addicts who are also victims of abuse, violence and exploitation find inspiration in my story."
Nadia Lockyer recently finished a 180-day residential drug treatment program she had entered after her Aug. 28 arrest in Orange County. Police were tipped that she had drugs in the home where she was staying with Diego. 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 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.
Her Thursday morning court appearance in Santa Ana was continued until March 30, Stokke said, adding that "the court said she was doing very well in her treatment program."
Nadia Lockyer early last year claimed Stephen Chikhani of San Jose had 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 last April.
Bill Lockyer had filed for divorce in July in Alameda County Superior Court, 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 has been living with his father in Hayward.
"All the decisions that Bill makes with regards to his marriage are made with Diego's best interests in mind," Dresslar said.
Bill Lockyer -- who served for 25 years in the Legislature, two terms as state attorney general and now is in his second term as state treasurer -- is a formidable fundraiser who transferred $1.5 million from his own campaign coffers to his wife's, letting her swamp rivals for a Board of Supervisors seat in a blizzard of direct mail and other advertising in 2010.
It was during that supervisorial campaign that Nadia Lockyer met Chikhani at a chemical-dependency program and began her relationship with him, she said in an exclusive interview with ¿this newspaper last April. She was dealing with chronic pain and wasn't an addict then, she said.
Bill Lockyer has formed a campaign committee to run for state controller in 2014. He has more than $2.2 million banked.
In 2003, Republican political consultant Dan Schnur had called the Lockyers' relationship "a match made in political heaven" and "the first wedding registry in California history with contribution limits."
On Thursday, Schnur, now director of University of Southern California's Unruh Institute of Politics, said there's no telling how this latest news will affect Bill Lockyer's political future.
"It's difficult enough to predict how any couple works out their marital challenges, but it's even harder to try to guess what the political ramifications may be of all those different possible outcomes," Schnur said, though "it would take a particularly brazen and particularly slimy opponent to try to make an issue out of this in a campaign against (Bill) Lockyer."