Former Newsom aide and Democratic strategist sentenced for domestic violence
A former aide to Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic strategist was sentenced this week in a 2020 domestic-violence incident that included an allegation of child abuse.
Fifty-two-year-old Nathan Ballard, who served as Newsom’s spokesman when the governor was mayor of San Francisco, pleaded no contest earlier this year on charges of misdemeanor corporal injury to an intimate partner and child abuse.
He was arrested last fall after an Oct. 17 incident at a luxury Napa resort, where he pushed his wife into a glass door and held a pillow over his four-year-old daughter’s head and torso while calling her derogatory names, prosecutors said.
Ballard’s attorney said at a hearing this spring that he had completed treatment for alcohol abuse and was “doing every type of therapy to address any issues that might come up.” He entered the plea deal last month ahead of a scheduled trial, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Napa County District Attorney’s office did not specify Ballard’s sentence in its statement, but authorities did say that the plea includes a six-year no contact order with his children.
Addressing her husband in court for the first time since the incident almost a year ago, victim Mara Reinhardt pointed to Ballard’s political connections and said she feared his “privileged arrogance makes him confident that he is getting away with this.”
“I am here today for my children. I am here for our safety and for our protection from Nathan Ballard,” Reinhardt said, according to the district attorney’s statement. “Nate’s version is the convenient story of a powerful, extremely experienced public relations expert and trained attorney.”
Ballard headed Newsom’s communications team for three years in the mid-2000s, later working in public relations for the California Democratic Party, politicians and clients like the Golden State Warriors.