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Longtime Newsom adviser arrested on domestic violence charges

Longtime Newsom adviser arrested on domestic violence charges
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Nathan Ballard, a Democratic strategist and longtime adviser to California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia governor calls in National Guard to secure state Capitol Mississippi runs out of coronavirus vaccine as state expands eligibility Overnight Health Care: US sets new record for daily COVID deaths with over 4,300 | Johnson & Johnson vaccine has promising immune response in early trial | In-person learning doesn't appear to drive COVID cases MORE (D), was arrested on two felony domestic violence charges in October.

The charges include willful cruelty to a child with possible injury and death, and domestic violence, Politico reports. According to Paul Gero, Napa County Assistant District Attorney, Ballard will be formally charged on Thursday.

Ballard, 51, allegedly attempted to suffocate a 4-year-old child with a pillow, reports say. Sources tell Politico that the incident occurred at the Carneros Resort and Spa after Ballard had allegedly “consumed a large amount of alcohol and some marijuana.”

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Three victims, an adult and two children, were involved in the incident. The adult victim told authorities Ballard “charged her,” pushing her into a glass door and causing her to hit her head on the door, according to the report.

According to the report Ballard then “grabbed the pillow from the bed, placed it onto the child victim and laid on top of the pillow, placing his weight on the child victim who was under the pillow.”

The adult victim then removed herself and the two children from the room, locking themselves in a separate room. The next morning, the adult victim reported the attack, though Ballard had left by the time authorities arrived. A warrant was issued for Ballard’s arrest by the Napa County Sheriff‘s Office and Ballard was arrested and placed in the county jail on Oct. 20.

In a text message to Politico, Ballard said, “I’ve spent my career in crisis communications fighting on behalf the wrongfully accused, and now for the first time I really know what it feels like to be in their shoes.”

"I will be exonerated. I love my children more than anything on earth, and we will be reunited,” he wrote.

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Ballard’s lawyer, Anthony Brass, said he suffered from substance abuse issues, though he had been sober for eight years. He reportedly began drinking again after his father’s death in April. According to Brass, Ballard is at a residential recovery program.

Ballard is the founder of The Press Shop, a public relations firm based in San Francisco. As Politico notes, Ballard has been a major player in California politics for a long time. He has previously worked as a spokesperson for Newsom when he was mayor of San Francisco.

After his arrest, he continued to appear as a political pundit as someone familiar with Newsom's thoughts. He spoke to The Associated Press, radio station KQED and NPR on who he thought Newsom would appoint to fill in Vice President-elect Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisBiden calls for swift action while outlining .9 trillion virus relief package Porter loses seat on House panel overseeing financial sector The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump's growing isolation as administration comes to an end MORE's vacant Senate seat.

In November 2019 Ballard was profiled by Better magazine as one of "the Bay Area’s most successful dads.” In the profile he referred to Kentfield as "a special place for my wife Mara and me.”