Governator granted 11th hour commutation for son of political ally
Outgoing California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger commuted the prison sentence of Esteban Nuñez, the son of ex-State Assembly speaker Fabian Nuñez. It seems like the Governator is tough on crime except when it comes to protecting his political crony.
Nuñez’s son, Esteban, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after copping to a plea deal for his role in the stabbing death of Luis Dos Santos, a student at San Diego Mesa College. The deadly altercation took place after Esteban Nuñez and his friends were refused entry to a fraternity party near San Diego State. Santos was stabbed in the heart and three of his friends suffered stab wounds during the fight. Before settling for a plea deal with the San Diego county district attorney’s office, Nuñez was facing murder charges in Santo’s death and, if convicted, would have faced life in prison.
But Esteban Nuñez is quite lucky because he’s got an influential Daddy. (How many first time violent offenders get their sentences commuted by the Governor?) Fabian Nuñez, a prominent Los Angeles Democrat, was the Governator’s right hand man in the California Assembly. After being term-limited, Daddy Nuñez became a partner at Mercury Public Affairs where former Schwarzenegger staffers (like Adam Mendelsohn, Tracy Arnold, Becky Warren, and Laura Braden) now work. One can reasonably conclude that Daddy Nuñez has the type of political access and influence to persuade Governor Schwarzenegger to grant an 11th hour commutation that reduced Estefan Nuñez‘s sentence to just seven years without even consulting the San Diego county district attorney’s office.
Fred Santos, father of the stabbing victim, told the Los Angeles Times:
The governor did not even have the courtesy to notify the victim’s family…This is dirty politics: cutting backroom deals. I guess if you’re the son of somebody important you can kill someone and get all sorts of breaks.
Too bad Fred Santos is not a career politician nor a big-time political donor. Fred Santos is simply a software engineer and heartbroken father who was obviously deemed unimportant by the Sacramento politicians like Fabian Nuñez and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Remember Fred Santos’ pain the next time Fabian Nuñez runs for public office.
- MercuryNews.com: Law profs say politics loom large over Nunez’s commutation
- LATimes.com: Schwarzenegger commutes prison sentence of Fabian Nunez’s son
- CBSNews.com: Arnold Schwarzenegger reduces manslaughter sentence for son of former Calif. Assembly Speaker
- FoxNews.com: Schwarzenegger’s shameful last act
- CBS8.com: Gov. Schwarzenegger commutes Esteban Nunez’s prison sentence
- MercuryNews.com: Concord dad irate over Governor’s commutation
- HuffingtonPost.com: Schwarzenegger’s commutations include politician’s son
- Fabian Nunez’s public profile on LinkedIn
- Fabian Nunez’s biography from Mercury Public Affairs, a Republican lobbying firm where he is now a partner
- San Diego County District Attorney’s PDF press release on the Nunez plea deal (May 2010)
- Source for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12549219@N00/3143260406/in/set-72157618063807657/
- Source for Fabian Nunez’s photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:FabianNunez.jpg