Assemblyman goes reclusive after domestic violence allegations

imgresAfter being placed under a three-year restraining order from his wife over domestic violence allegations and subsequently stripped of his committee assignments, including a chairmanship, Assemblyman Roger Hernandez has become reclusive.

First, the West Covina Democrat made his official Twitter account private sometime in July, and then on Monday he went on medical leave for a week or two to start the last month of the legislative session.

A spokesperson for the West Covina Democrat did not immediately respond to requests for comment, but both his office and the office of Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, confirmed to The Sacramento Bee on Monday that Hernandez requested medical leave that would likely extend through this week and much of next week.

What it means

The legislative session ends with August, meaning Hernandez could have potentially cast his last vote, depending on how much time the termed-out legislator ultimately misses.

But as it stands now, he’ll make it back for the end-of-session flurry of votes where his vote could make the difference between success and failure on either liberal priorities or bills requiring a two-thirds majority, like a Democratic transportation package.

Hernandez is running against Rep. Grace Napolitano for the Norwalk Democrat’s seat in Congress, although the protracted scandal has likely hurt his chances in a race that was always going to be difficult. Since the domestic violence allegations began to surface, his fundraising has struggled and many of his allies fled.

Hernandez was accused by his wife, Baldwin Park City Councilwoman Susan Rubio, from whom he is getting divorced, of assaulting her 20 times over a three-year period, which included choking her with a belt, beating her with a broom while she lay on the ground and threatening her with a knife after accusing her of an affair. 

Tweeting beyond the curtain

A small band of the Twitterati ripped Hernandez for making his official Twitter account private (it was done within the last month or so).

Past allegations

Hernández has been accused of wrongdoing before. In 2012, an ex-girlfriend accused him of domestic violence, although charges were never filed due to insufficient evidence. 

That same year, Hernández was arrested for drunk driving in a state vehicle, but was acquitted by a jury on one charge, while the jury was hung on another. 

And in 2015, allegations of political money laundering against Hernández were dropped by the Fair Political Practices Commission after two key witnesses were unable to testify — one had serious medical issues while the other had passed away. 

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