Governor Gavin Newsom’s brother-in-law, Joshua Irwin Schiller, had domestic violence charges dropped against him earlier this week, more than three months since he was arrested.
In January, police in Ross, a small Marin County town of 2,400 people, arrived at the home of Schiller, responding to a disturbance call. After conducting interviews with witnesses and searching the home, Ross police arrested Schiller for an alleged domestic violence act against his wife, who was showing a minor visible injury. Schiller was immediately sent to Marin County Jail for the charge of “suspicion of inflicting corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant.”
Schiller, who is a partner at the Boies Schiller Flexner legal firm, and his wife soon both refuted the charge, saying that he did not harm his wife, nor was it domestic violence.
Their lawyer, Douglas Horngrad, soon came out saying that it all had been a misunderstanding.
“I fully expect the charges to be dropped,” said Horngrad in January. “This was a misunderstanding and both Mr. and Mrs. Schiller have made clear to me that he did not physically harm her. There was no instance of domestic violence.”
In a follow-up statement, the couple also noted that “This is a private matter between us. We love and respect each other. We are partners and will move beyond this together.”
For the next several months, despite only being a heavily refuted allegation, the arrest of someone related to Newsom had an effect in Marin County. Despite being a heavily Democratic County of around 250,000 people, Marin County residents sent in over 8,000 signatures in the petition drive to recall Governor Newsom. While a small amount compared to the 2.1 million gathered, it proved to be a lot for a bay area county, with San Francisco County only managing 11,762 signatures despite a population of 874,000 people and Alameda County getting under 30,000 signatures despite a population of 1.67 million.
“It was an unfounded allegation, but the fact that Newsom was attached to this, even in a remote way, had a difference,” said “John,” a Marin County resident who gathered many petition signatures to the Globe on Friday. “A lot of people signed just because they want Newsom out, but, and this is just for me I should say, every 4th or 5th person mentioned this incident when they signed as a reason. Not the only reason they were signing, but a reason. So I would definitely say that this played a very small role in getting enough signatures for a recall.”
However, the charges lingered around Schiller until Tuesday, when it was announced that the Domestic violence charges were being dropped, largely for lack of a case.
“We are clearly pleased, though not surprised, by the decision to drop the charge in light of the facts and circumstances,” said Horngrad on Tuesday. “The district attorney dismissed the case after a thorough review in the interests of justice because there was no case to prove. Mr. and Ms. Schiller are glad to put this behind them.”
No further action against the Schiller’s will be taken following the dismissal.
Governor Newsom’s recall election is expected sometime later this year.