Friday, April 13, 2012

It’s Time for Nadia Lockyer to Step Down

by Robert Gammon
Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 11:46 AM

Six weeks ago, we wrote that calls for Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer to resign were premature. We contended that Lockyer needed time to get well, to recover from her substance-abuse problems. But over the past few weeks, a series of eye-popping news reports by Bay Area News Group reporters Josh Richman and Julia Prodis Sulek have made it clear that Lockyer’s problems are extremely serious and that she needs to resign from office and focus all her energy on taking care of herself. It could take a long time.

Nadia Lockyer
  • Nadia Lockyer
The most recent revelation uncovered by Sulek and Richman showed pretty conclusively that Lockyer cannot be trusted and that she is a serial liar — which is common for people ensnared by addiction. On Wednesday of this week, Lockyer sent an email to Sulek that claimed that her husband, state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, had supplied her with drugs, and then signed off, by writing: "I simply can't bear this any longer. Goodbye to everyone.”

Sulek was rightly concerned that Lockyer may have been contemplating suicide, so the San Jose Mercury News reporter called police. Lockyer turned out to be okay, and later said that her “goodbye” was meant to mean that she was going to leave town to get away from her ex-boyfriend Steve Chikhani. She claimed that Chikhani’s friends were stalking her.

Lockyer also claimed that she didn’t write portions of the email to Sulek, specifically the part about Bill Lockyer supplying drugs to her, and that Chikhani must have hacked her email account. But as Sulek and Richman’s story shows, Nadia Lockyer’s hacking claim is not credible.

A security expert that analyzed the email noted that it came from a Verizon Wireless cellphone, and Lockyer admitted that she has such a phone. Chikhani’s lawyer, meanwhile, said that he’s not allowed to have cellphones in the drug rehab facility he’s staying in. In other words, Nadia Lockyer is asking people to believe that a phoneless Chikhani somehow got hold of a Verizon phone just like hers, hacked into her email account, and then added the bit about Bill Lockyer and drugs to an email that Nadia Lockyer had already composed, and then sent it off to Sulek. As we said, that’s not credible.

As such, Nadia Lockyer can’t be trusted right now. And that’s a big problem for a public official. Did Bill Lockyer give her drugs? Not likely. But the problem is no one can be sure when Nadia Lockyer is telling the truth and when she isn’t. And her constituents deserve better than that.

Did Chikhani beat her up as she claims? Or is she lying about that, too? A previous story by Richman noted that Lockyer went to visit Chikhani in jail repeatedly last year, and signed in as his attorney of record when she wasn’t. Her deception allowed her to enjoy private meetings with him, and on one occasion she stayed for more than two hours. Richman also noted that Lockyer blew off a board of supervisors meeting in Oakland to be with Chikhani in jail. She claimed that she was giving Chikhani legal advice on the request of his family — an assertion the family denies. Again, her word can’t be trusted.

And that’s the crux of why she should resign. The public needs to be able to know that their elected officials are telling the truth. But Lockyer, probably because of her addiction, can’t seem to come clean. And she may not be able to until she resigns her position, and fully concentrates on overcoming her addiction.

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