Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer, wife of California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, said Tuesday that she's in rehabilitation for a substance-abuse problem after an extramarital affair culminated in a beating by her ex-lover.
The announcement marked a sharp turn in the career of a woman who at 40 had been seen as a rising star in California politics. The scandal is also an ugly footnote on her husband's nearly four-decade-long career, which made him one of California's most influential politicians.
Nadia Lockyer had reported to police that she had been attacked by the former boyfriend Feb. 3 at a Newark motel. A police log indicates that she suffered head and neck injuries requiring medical treatment and that officers were investigating it as a case of battery with serious bodily injury.
"The injuries I suffered from that assault will require some time to heal, and I am receiving treatment for them," she said in a statement Tuesday.
"As of last week, I have enrolled myself in a wellness and recovery center to treat my injuries from the assault," she said. "I am also receiving treatment for chemical dependency and chronic pain from a past debilitating car accident. Alcoholism and addiction are diseases from which many of us suffer, and unfortunately, I have not been spared. With the strong encouragement of the people in my life who love me, including my husband, my family and my friends, I decided to get help and treatment so that I
Bill Lockyer was quoted Sunday by the San Francisco Chronicle as saying that his wife's ex-boyfriend "seems to have a long history of involvement with the criminal justice system, but her (Nadia's) only fault is occasionally having one too many drinks."
Tom Dresslar, Bill Lockyer's spokesman, said Monday and again Tuesday that Lockyer will have no further comment and is focused on protecting his wife and their 8-year-old son.
But Stephen Chikhani, 35, of San Jose -- Nadia Lockyer's ex-lover and alleged attacker -- said Tuesday night that the only truths in the Lockyers' account of what happened are "that I have a record and that they were separated. ... Pretty much everything else was false, was made up by her husband.
"As of today, there is no warrant for my arrest," he said. "I tried calling the police; they won't call me back, so I feel like I'm being pushed into a corner."
After having Nadia Lockyer's statement read to him, Chikhani said he needed to consult his lawyer again before speaking any further.
Dresslar declined to comment on Chikhani's statements.
Teresa Drenick, spokeswoman for the Alameda County District Attorney's Office, said that prosecutors are "following up on the documents and reports we've received from the Newark police" regarding the Feb. 3 incident. That office, Drenick said, has been a leader "in supporting victims of interpersonal violence ... no matter who they are. It's something that is one of our very top priorities."
The supervisorial district Nadia Lockyer represents includes Hayward, Newark, Union City, Sunol and the northern part of Fremont.
She was absent from the Board of Supervisors' meetings Feb. 7 and Tuesday. Asked what might happen should Lockyer be unable to resume her duties, County Counsel Donna Ziegler replied, "She intends to return. There is no vacancy."
Fellow Supervisor Wilma Chan said she is treating the situation as a personal issue, but said Lockyer was brave for admitting her addiction. There is no timeline for her return, Chan said, adding that she hadn't noticed anything out of the ordinary about Lockyer recently but was concerned that she had lost a lot of weight in the past six months.
Supervisor Keith Carson said he hadn't detected anything abnormal about her behavior, even during an all-day retreat two weeks ago at which she seemed fully engaged.
Board of Supervisors President Nate Miley issued a statement on the board's behalf, saying Lockyer "is dealing with issues that are personal in nature, and we support her decision to seek help with those issues. We will not comment further. We stand in support of our colleague and look forward to her return."
An Orange County native, Nadia Lockyer is the daughter of the late Wallace Davis, who was among Santa Ana's first Latino lawyers and a renowned immigrant-rights advocate. She earned an undergraduate degree in sociology from UCLA in 1993 and a Loyola law degree in 1996. She was admitted to the state bar a year later.
After law school, she entered Democratic politics by serving as a member of the legal team for Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Anaheim, and raising funds for Santa Ana Democrat Lou Correa's first Assembly bid.
While an associate at the firm of Best, Best & Krieger, she won election in 1998 to the Santa Ana Unified School District board. Gov. Gray Davis in 2002 named her to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and a week later the Democratic Leadership Council named her its "New Dem of the Week."
She married Bill Lockyer in April 2003, after reportedly having met him at a state Democratic event the previous year. Their son was born in June of that year.
In 2006, then-Alameda County District Attorney Thomas Orloff hired Nadia Lockyer as executive director of the Alameda County Family Justice Center, a sort of one-stop-shopping agency providing a variety of services to victims of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse and sexual abuse and exploitation. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger named her to the California Community Colleges Board of Governors in January 2010.
Her 2010 supervisorial campaign, fueled by more than $1.5 million in transfers from her husband's campaign committee, used a blitz of direct mail and advertising to outgun competitors, including former state Sen. Liz Figueroa.
William Westwood "Bill" Lockyer, 70, of Hayward, is among California's longest-serving elected officials currently in office. Before his election as state treasurer in 2006 and re-election in 2010, he served for eight years as California's attorney general.
Before that, he served for 25 years in the Assembly and state Senate, culminating with a stint as Senate president pro tem. His ambition almost certainly extended to the governor's office, but he chose to avoid costly, risky battles against Arnold Schwarzenegger or Jerry Brown.
He has earned a reputation as a colorful, and sometimes rather blunt, speaker. Although certainly a liberal Democrat, he has publicly taken his own party to task over certain issues, including the state's unfunded public employee pension liability.
Staff writers Angela Woodall, Chris De Benedetti and Paul Thissen contributed to this report. Josh Richman covers politics. Follow him at Twitter.com/josh_richman.