51-year-old Nathan Ballard was arrested and jailed on multiple felony charges, including two felony charges of wilful child cruelty with possible injury and death.
Ballard is a “friend and adviser” to Democrat Governor Newsom, according to The Sacramento Bee.
He was also referred to as “longtime Newsom aide” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Foxnews.com reports: According to Napa County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Henry Wofford, on Oct. 17, Ballard pushed a woman, then stumbled and fell, which left him bleeding from his head and nose. The woman accused him of also leaning his weight on a pillow over a 4-year-old girl’s face.
She told investigators that she pushed him off, and took the girl and a 3-year-old boy into another room and locked him out. The woman said Ballard had consumed “a large amount of alcohol and some marijuana,” and was suffering from a mental health episode.
Investigators said she suffered a bump on her head, and the child showed no physical injuries. She filed a police report the next morning, on Oct. 18. Due to the nature of the allegations, authorities are withholding the victims’ names.
Ballard surrendered to deputies on Oct. 20. He was accompanied by his attorney, Tony Brass, Wofford said. The Napa County District Attorney’s office filed a two-count felony complaint alleging domestic violence and child abuse Thursday after a delay due to the coronavirus.
Brass said he expects his client to be acquitted once prosecutors review the facts of the case.
“Nate is a well-respected professional and a member of the bar with a spotless ethical record. He has no criminal history,” he said in a statement Thursday. “In his 51 years, Nate has never been accused of, arrested for, nor charged with any crime before these unsubstantiated allegations.”
Brass said Ballard resumed drinking in April after an eight-year stretch of sobriety after the death of his father but is once again on the road to recovery.
“He is now clean and sober again, and he is currently in a residential recovery program to deal with his drinking problem in a responsible, comprehensive manner,” he said. “He is a good father, he has his children’s best interests at heart, and he wants to resolve this matter privately, quickly, and fairly for their sake.”
Brass also said his client’s ex-wife would be willing to testify under oath that Ballard had never been violent toward her or their children.
Ballard, who runs The Press Shop, a San Francisco media relations firm, has been widely praised for his achievements in the field by local and national publications, according to a collection of excerpts posted on his website. He was a spokesman for Newsom during his days as the city’s mayor.
He also advised or represented former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry, the Democratic National Committee, California’s state Democratic Party, the Golden State Warriors and other companies and labor groups, according to his website.
Additionally, he serves on the board of the Representation Project, a women’s rights nonprofit founded by Newsom’s wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom.
He was released on $75,000 bail after his Oct. 20 arrest and is expected to be arraigned Dec. 29, according to the district attorney’s office.