Nunez breaks his silence on Schwarzenegger scandals - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Nunez breaks his silence on Schwarzenegger scandals

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Former state assembly speaker Fabian Nunez is breaking his silence over the scandal involving former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's commutation of his son's sentence on his last day in office.

The recent father and son photo of former state assembly speaker Fabian Nunez and his 22-year-old son Esteban is a bittersweet one. It was taken at Mule Creek State Prison where Esteban is serving a seven-year sentence for voluntary manslaughter.

Esteban is paying the price for his role in aiding and abetting in the death of Luis Dos Santos after a fight. They smile for the camera, but his family says there is no joy.

"The Dos Santos family is clearly suffering more than I can ever imagine. I would just express how horrible we feel about what happened to their son and that we pray for that family and for their son every day," Fabian said.

The sentence Esteban is serving is less than half of what was ordered by a judge. Fabian Nunez's good friend, former governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, reduced the sentence from 16 years to seven on his last day in office. That decision set off an outrage, and for the first time, Fabian Nunez is addressing the controversy.

"My son should pay for what he did, no question about it. But I also felt I had something to do with the sentence being as harsh as it was and I felt I had to do something about it," Fabian said.

District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis filed a civil lawsuit to overturn Schwarzenegger's decision to reduce the prison based on "Marcy's Law", the so-called "Victim's Bill of Rights".

Fabian Nunez says he understands the anger sparked by the 11th-hour commutation, and in a strange coincidence, he has chosen to speak about the scandal in his family on the same week as the scandal broke in the Schwarzenegger family regarding a love child. However, Fabian says he hasn't spoken to Arnold in a couple of weeks.

"What the Schwarzenegger family is going through right now is very difficult. I think we should give them the privacy to deal with this very difficult issue in the comfort of their own home and family setting and not in the public," Fabian said.

Fabian Nunez says he's trying to keep his family together, saying his other children are shattered by the case and admits he and his wife are in counseling.

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