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Nadia Lockyer: public persona and personal life diverge

Thursday, February 16, 2012

imageEven before Alameda County Supervisor Nadia Lockyer’s statement Tuesday that she’s entered rehab for substance abuse, Steven Tavares at East Bay Citizen cited county sources as suspecting her chemical dependency problems were more serious than occasionally having one-too-many drinks. That’s the line introduced by state Treasurer Bill Lockyer to the Chronicle while perhaps trying to get out ahead of the story involving his wife’s alleged Feb. 3 assault by an ex-boyfriend in a Newark motel room.

Add: The former Nadia Davis, from a prominent Orange County political family, and the state Treasurer married in 2003. He’s 71; she’s 40. Tavares’ sources paint a picture of someone who may have been struggling for awhile on the personal front, even as her public persona was that of a rising star in state Democratic politics. An excerpt. Brackets are mine:

During the supervisorial campaign, a few surrogates had a reason for her behavior. They floated the meme of a nearly catastrophic car accident a decade ago had robbed her of some of her faculties. While the accident is fact--she once recalled to me living in an assisted-living home while she convalesced--nobody could be found to ascribe to any changes in her demeanor before and after.

In hindsight, numerous sources involved in the 2010 supervisorial campaign, now say they witnessed the seeds of Nadia's alleged use of controlled substances. One opponent said last week their campaign suspected substance abuse during the stretch run as Nadia inexplicably took a 30-day leave of absence from the campaign trail and her job at the Alameda County Family Justice Center, which she headed.

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By the summer of last year and after her first six months in office, county staff began noticing stark changes in Nadia's physical condition. While she never weighed more than 120 pounds, according to staff, she appeared thinner than ever. At the dais during public meetings, her eyes became round and buggy. Almost stuck in a perpetual state of surprise. Her face appeared [noticeably] gaunt, which only made her cheekbones gain more prominence than before. There had been whispers that her visage suggested an eating disorder, but recently, they say, the telltale signs of something more ominous was occurring…


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