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California AG’s wife recuses herself from state DOJ budget

Rob Bonta
Posted at 4:52 PM, Feb 19, 2023

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s wife has recused herself from matters related to the state Department of Justice as part of her duties leading a legislative subcommittee that oversees his budget.

Assemblymember Mia Bonta, a Democrat, announced the recusal in a statement posted online Sunday. She heads Assembly Budget Subcommittee 5, which oversees public safety spending — including that of the state’s justice department, which is led by Rob Bonta.

Mia Bonta’s statement emphasized that while she believes there is no legal or ethical conflict in her role, she has recused herself so Californians “have absolute confidence in the legislative process.”

KCRA had first reported the possible conflict of interest and repeatedly pressed Mia Bonta on the issue.

The budget subcommittee is scheduled to discuss the Department of Justice’s budget on March 27.

Democratic Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon had appointed Mia Bonta to the subcommittee position and noted that the Assembly and Senate must agree on a budget, which then must be either signed or vetoed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Rendon also said the Legislature does not set salaries or benefits for state constitutional officers such as Rob Bonta.

Rob Bonta was elected to a full four-year term as attorney general in November 2021 after Gov. Gavin Newsom picked him to fill an unexpired term as the state’s top lawman.