A former top Democratic Party strategist has was arrested earlier this year on suspicion of domestic violence, according to new reports.
Nathan Ballard, who had been an adviser to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom, is facing two felony counts in connection with his October arrest.
Allegations involving his wife and young daughter
Reports indicate it was during a weekend getaway to Carneros Resort and Spa that he was arrested on Oct. 20, three days after the alleged criminal act.
His wife, Mara, reported the incident to authorities, alleging that the violence began after her husband began drinking and smoking marijuana.
The couple allegedly began arguing when Ballard pushed her in the chest with both hands. She claimed to have hit her head when she stumbled backward into a glass door.
Ballard reportedly also fell during the alteration, injuring his nose and forehead. After that, he is accused of placing a pillow on the couple’s 4-year-old daughter and laying on top of it.
Arrested and released after posting $75K bond
His wife told investigators that it appeared he was trying to strangle or smother the girl.
The suspect was arrested days later, then released after paying a $75,000 bond. A few days after that, his wife petitioned the court for a restraining order, following up on Oct. 23 by filing for divorce.
Ballard is now facing one felony charge of domestic violence against his wife and another felony count of child abuse against their daughter. He has released a statement addressing the matter.
“I really know what it feels like to be in their shoes”
“I’ve spent my career in crisis communications fighting on behalf of the wrongfully accused, and now for the first time I really know what it feels like to be in their shoes,” he said. “I will be exonerated. I love my children more than anything on earth, and we will be reunited.”
Ballard’s attorney stated that he has struggled with alcohol abuse in the past but had conquered those problems until the death of his father, which led to a relapse. He is said to have since regained his sobriety.
His next court appearance is set for Dec. 29.