Southern California breaking news and trends

San Fernando drama continues with former councilman asking to drop case against girlfriend

Mario Hernandez

Alice Walton/KPCC

Former San Fernando City Councilman Mario Hernandez says he will no longer cooperate with the domestic violence case against his girlfriend, Councilwoman Maribel de la Torre.

A former San Fernando city councilman blasted the town’s police department today for its investigation into a domestic violence case that resulted in the arrest of his girlfriend, who is also an elected official.

Mario Hernandez convened a Sunday news conference in a parking lot underneath the Foothill (210) Freeway to complain about the San Fernando Police Department’s handling of a June 28 fight between Hernandez and Councilwoman Maribel de la Torre. The District Attorney’s Office filed two misdemeanor charges of battery and vandalism against de la Torre for her role in the argument. 

Though Hernandez told police that de la Torre choked him and threatened to kill him, he told reporters this afternoon that he no longer wants to cooperate with investigators. As traffic zoomed by the vacant lot, Hernandez read from an 11-page, handwritten statement.

“In good conscience, I cannot and will not pursue any action against Council member de la Torre as I feel the investigation was compromised. This investigation leads me to question how many others have been compromised,” he said. 

The investigation was tarnished when two officers from the department posted on their Facebook walls about the ongoing recall against Hernandez, de la Torre and Mayor Brenda Esqueda, said Hernandez, who resigned from office last week. A representative for the San Fernando Police Department declined to comment.

The affair between Hernandez and de la Torre was made public last November during a public meeting attended by Hernandez’s wife. Asked whether he and de la Torre continue to be romantically involved, Hernandez told reporters that that is a private matter.

The man behind the city’s recall effort said this is another way for Hernandez to act like a victim. 

“This shows the lack of responsibility that Council member Hernandez took during his tenure in the council. It shows there’s no culpability, there’s an excuse for everything,” said Julian Ruelas. 

In a final twist to the day, Ruelas' comments were interrupted by the mayor’s sister, who cradled a baby while unleashing a wave of criticism against the local newspaper for its treatment of Brenda Esqueda, who is accused of having an affair with a local police sergeant.

blog comments powered by Disqus