California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) laughs with California speaker of the assembly Fabian Nunez before signing Executive Order S-01-07 during a ceremony at the California State Capitol January 18, 2007 in Sacramento.
Friends doing favors for friends.
That's at the heart of public distress over then-Governor Schwarzenegger's decision to shorten the prison term of Esteban Nunez last December. That would be the son of former Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez. Esteban pled guilty to manslaughter in 2009 in connection with a fight at San Diego State that ended in the death of student Luis Santos.
Today, in a surprise move, the elder Nunez lashed out at San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis outside a Sacramento courtroom, suggesting that her aspirations to be mayor caused his son to be treated more harshly during sentencing.
It's a new development. Nunez told me in May, when he first broke his silence about the case, that Schwarzenegger handled the matter because of their friendship. Nunez argued at the time that the intervention was appropriate because he believed the court had politicized the matter because of Nunez's connections. He didn't mention the district attorney at that time.
Nunez told me he thought he "would lose my mind" when his son first confessed the crime to him, and expressed an apology to the family of Luis Santos.
There was no outreach today. The Santos family is suing to overturn the governor's order, saying it was Nunez who played politics. This is a case where nobody wins