Assemblyman Hernandez passed a drug test, attorney says
An attorney for state Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina) said Friday his client has passed a drug test, just days after a former girlfriend of the lawmaker told police that Hernandez had used cocaine in the past.
The woman filed an emergency protective order against Hernandez on Sunday after police responded to an argument between the pair at a West Covina restaurant.
In seeking the order, the woman told an officer that Hernandez had struck her with a belt during an argument in July at which he also "slammed her against the wall, causing visible injury." The woman also "says she fears for her safety due to Hernandez using cocaine," according to the protective order approved by a court commissioner.
With Hernandez battling a Republican challenger in Tuesday’s election, Anthony J. Falangetti, an attorney for the legislator, put out a statement Friday saying that Hernandez passed a drug test taken within two days of the woman making the accusation of cocaine use.
"Assemblyman Hernandez acted swiftly to clear his name within hours of these false allegations," the statement said. "Assemblyman Hernandez acted with transparency and volunteered to be tested for a spectrum of drugs to put his constituents' minds at ease."
The test was administered Oct. 30 at New Era Drug Testing in Glendale, and the sample was analyzed by LabCorp OTS in Research Triangle Park, N.C., the attorney said. The test was negative for amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates and PCP, the attorney said. The results show Hernandez did not use any of those drugs in the last 30 days, said Danny Wagubyan, an official with New Era.
"It is Assemblyman Hernandez's belief that intelligent voters, and responsible members of the press, will focus on his record of service to the community before the election on Tuesday, and leave these baseless allegations and attacks behind," said the statement from Hernandez's attorney.
Hernandez faces Republican candidate Joe Gardner, a retired police officer from West Covina, in Tuesday's election. ``It's unfortunate that a sitting Assemblyman has to attempt to prove his innocence through a drug test,'' said Luis Alvarado, a campaign official for Gardner.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Assemblyman Roger Hernandez (D-West Covina). Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli