Nina Salarno Besselman, an Orange County Deputy District Attorney* and president of Crime Victims United of California, has endorsed Melanie Eustice, the Chief of Administration and Public Affairs at the Orange County District Attorney’s office who’s mounting a primary challenge to incumbent Assemblymember Bill Brough (R-Dana Point). Eustice, we should note, is also Besselman’s supervisor at the OCDA’s office.
“Melanie Eustice will be the champion that crime victims deserve in Sacramento,” Besselman said in an Aug. 30 news release from Eustice’s campaign consultant. “I have seen her passion and dedication up close and she is the voice we desperately need in the State Assembly.”
Eustice, who considers herself a conservative Republican, declared in July that she would challenge Brough, who stands accused of sexually harassing four women. Two of the four accusations were previously investigated, and found to be unsubstantiated. Brough denies any wrongdoing.
“After hearing the numerous allegations swarming around Assemblyman Brough, I can no longer stand by,” Eustice said in July when she announced her candidacy. “I’m stepping up to be a voice, yet again, for the voiceless to say, ‘enough.’ We need change and I’m stepping up not just for women, but every parent who has a daughter in the workplace. Assemblymember Brough’s alleged conduct is not only disgusting, it’s unacceptable.”
In other news, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is now investigating whether Brough used campaign money to attend a Boston Red Sox game, as well as other expenses for his family, the Associated Press reported on Aug. 29.
“I’ve been advised by the FPPC that they have not made any determination about the validity of the allegations made or about the culpability, if any, of any person” Brough told the AP.
* This story originally left out that Besselman is an attorney in the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Anthony Pignataro has been a journalist since 1996. He spent a dozen years as Editor of MauiTime, the last alt weekly in Hawaii. He also wrote three trashy novels about Maui, which were published by Event Horizon Press. But he got his start at OC Weekly, and returned to the paper in 2019 as a Staff Writer.