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Council members who admitted affair now have restraining orders

July 8, 2012 |  8:33 am

There was much controversy last year when two San Fernando City Council members publicly acknowledged having an affair.

Now, they have restraining orders against each other after an alleged violent confrontation.

Councilman Mario Hernandez and Councilwoman Maribel de la Torre sought the court orders after the June 28 incident, officials said. De la Torre is also the subject of a related police investigation.

An officer responding to a call at Hernandez's home on June 28 found the residence had been ransacked and noticed red marks and scratches on the councilman's neck, according to a police report.

Hernandez sought a restraining order against De la Torre, who responded in kind, officials said. De la Torre accused Hernandez of assaulting her last December, but no police report was filed.

"The only thing I will say is that I have never raised my hand against her at any time, or any other woman in my life," Hernandez said in a statement Saturday. "It's just not right.

"There is no excuse for that type of behavior. Those that mock this private issue, shame on them, because domestic violence is not a laughing matter."

The story took an unusual twist last Monday, when the City Council, with De la Torre abstaining and Hernandez absent, voted to fire Police Chief Gil Carrillo with no stated reason. Carrillo was overseeing the investigation of De la Torre. A retired veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Carrillo said his firing "came out of left field and it was a shock to me."

In an email to officers and friends, Carrillo said: "I guess it doesn't help matters when one of my detectives is taking a case tomorrow for consideration of a filing against one of the City Council members that I would not allow to be swept under the carpet like they had been in the past."

It is unclear how the City Council will proceed in light of the Hernandez-De la Torre incident. But City Administrator Al Hernandez said Friday that the city would be "taking appropriate action" after learning of the restraining orders that were initially reported in the Los Angeles Daily News.

In an email to The Times on Friday, De la Torre said: "Words cannot begin to express how saddened I am over the events of the past several days." She added that "it would be inappropriate to discuss this matter until any potential legal issues are resolved."

— Richard Winton