Ex-Newsom aide arrested after allegedly trying to suffocate 4-year-old with pillow in Napa


A former political advisor to Gov. Gavin Newsom and well-known Democratic strategist was arrested in October on charges of domestic violence and child abuse, including an alleged attempt to “suffocate” a 4-year-old child with a pillow, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

Napa County Assistant Dist. Atty. Paul Gero said his office filed a two-count felony complaint Thursday against Nathan Ballard, 51, alleging domestic violence and child abuse following his Oct. 18 arrest.

Ballard, who worked as Newsom’s communications director when Newsom was mayor of San Francisco, said in a recent Marin Magazine profile on Newsom and his wife, documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, that he was a “longtime friend and advisor” to the governor.

According to the Napa County sheriff, an unnamed woman alleged that Ballard, who she said had been under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, pushed her against a glass door Oct. 17, causing her head to strike the glass. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Henry Wofford said the woman told authorities that Ballard fell to the floor, bloodying his nose and forehead, then grabbed a pillow and “attempted to suffocate the child with the pillow.”

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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