The more former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez has to speak of his son, who was convicted of manslaughter and later had his sentence reduced by then Governor Schwarzenegger, the bigger hole he digs for himself and his future prospects for elected office. Today the elder Núñez is telling the public that his son’s sentence was politically motivated:
“Outside the first court hearing in the case, Fabian Nunez said his son received a tougher sentence because of his father’s political career and the district attorney’s ambitions.
“When you’re dealing with a district attorney like we did in San Diego, who clearly, you know, has aspirations and has always had aspirations for higher office, the approach that they took to my son’s case, and in particular to him, irrespective of the facts of the actual case — they picked on my son from day one,” said Nunez, a Los Angeles Democrat who was termed out of office in 2008.
“You add up an overzealous district attorney with a judge in San Diego who represented that he would, my son, get a much lower sentence and then went back on his word — that’s why we are where we are. It’s just a horrible tragedy all around and I feel horrible,” Nunez said.”
Really, this whole arrest and trial was to some degree politicized, but I think that Núñez and his defense team may have brought that on themselves. Remember when Mayor Villaraigosa was telling us that Esteban was a “good boy” and when politicians and other leaders were writing letters on behalf of the now convicted younger Núñez? If these politicians and other people had not started publicly commenting, maybe the political element would have been lessened. Had Fabian Núñez not asked for any letters, favors from the former Governor, etc. he and his family may have started to regain some goodwill with the California public. And finally, Papa or Mama Núñez should have taken a peek at his child’s myspace account (and the social media for his Hazard Crew friends) for a glimpse into his child’s interests; maybe this tragedy could have been avoided altogether. Many parents who are in high profile positions closely monitor these things because they know the consequences.
Edited to add: the LA Times has a good update of what happened today after the hearing over the now reduced sentence for Esteban Núñez.