By Gillian Flaccus, Associated Press
SANTA ANA, Calif. -- The estranged wife of California Treasurer Bill Lockyer regained visitation rights with her 9-year-old son Monday as she fights methamphetamine possession and child abuse charges filed after police said they found drugs in the home where she was staying.
During a brief hearing, an Orange County judge granted a modified protective order allowing Nadia Lockyer to visit her son while her husband is present and allowing her to speak with the boy on the phone.
"I'm really happy to be getting the help that I need and focusing on getting healthy and I hope to inspire many, many others to do the same," Nadia Lockyer said in a brief statement after the hearing.
Prosecutors have amended the child abuse charge to include child endangerment, an allegation that gives prosecutors more options when pursuing the case, said Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz.
The charges marked the latest in a series of public substance abuse and relationship struggles faced by the 41-year-old Lockyer, who until recently was considered a rising star in Northern California government after winning a seat in 2010 on the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.
She resigned from the seat in April following a string of bizarre public incidents that she blamed on drug abuse.
Bill Lockyer, 71, the state's former attorney general and current treasurer who helped his wife with campaign funding, has filed for divorce and is seeking joint custody of their son.
Police in the city of Orange received a tip last month that led them to a house where Nadia Lockyer was staying with relatives.
Lockyer wasn't home, but officers reported finding methamphetamine and paraphernalia used for smoking it. Later, when they located Lockyer, she showed signs of meth intoxication and was arrested, prosecutors said.
Lockyer has pleaded not guilty to a felony count of drug possession, two misdemeanor drug charges and one misdemeanor count of child abuse alleging she kept the drugs in the home with her son. She was released on her own recognizance and entered a drug rehab center the next day.
Her attorney, Allan Stokke, said Monday that rehab was a condition of her release, and she will likely receive treatment until Nov. 1, her next court date, or beyond.
"The focus is on her regaining her health," he said.
Katz said Lockyer could eventually qualify for a diversion program, but it was too early to say if prosecutors would accept such an outcome.
Lockyer's troubles became public after she claimed in February that she was assaulted by a former boyfriend whom she met in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program.
In April, an email that appeared to be sent from Nadia Lockyer went to a newspaper, accusing her husband of supplying her with drugs. He denies the claim.
"I simply can't bear this any longer. Goodbye to everyone," the note read. The newspaper, fearing for her safety, called police.
At the time, Nadia Lockyer said, "Alcoholism and addiction are diseases from which many of us suffer, and unfortunately, I have not been spared."