Fullerton police responded to an incident at the home of state Assemblyman Chris Norby earlier this month and are referring their ongoing investigation to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office to determine if a crime occurred, police confirmed Monday.
Chris Norby (R-Fullerton) and his wife, Martha, acknowledged having an argument during the afternoon of Sept. 2 that caused a deliveryman to call the police. But both also say there was no physical altercation or anything else that would warrant a police investigation.
“Nothing happened,” said Chris Norby during an interview Monday. Police “came out and talked to me. They talked to my wife.” He said officers told him that they “have to file something [but] your privacy will be respected.”
However, a public summary of the police report stated that Chris Norby pushed Martha Norby during the argument. Reading from the report, Sgt. Andrew Goodrich said the report stated that “female advised male pushed her.”
Police would not comment further. Goodrich said police are the “fact finders” and it will be up to prosecutors to decide if charges are eventually brought.
Chris Norby called the suggestion that he hurt his wife “absolutely outrageous.” He added that “if anything like that had happened, they would have hauled me away on the spot.”
Asked directly by a reporter if he ever hit his wife, Chris Norby replied: “That’s simply untrue. I never have hit her at anytime in my life.”
Martha Norby also specifically denied that any violence occurred.
“Like any couple, we were arguing,” she said. “But it wasn’t physical violence. My husband has never put a hand on me. I’m a very direct woman, and I wouldn’t lie. I don’t know why they called the police.”
Martha Norby went on to describe herself as “a very sentimental women.” She said the couple had an argument and a deliveryman “thought he [Chris Norby] hit me.”
Chris Norby, 60, said the couple are expecting their first child in May, and they learned of Martha Norby’s pregnancy just two weeks before the incident. Chris Norby has a college-age son from a previous marriage, and they are raising Martha’s three school-age children. This is Chris Norby’s fourth marriage.
Chris Norby said the argument centered around who was going to pick up the kids. “I think somebody heard something,” he said. “Right after [that], I ran to pick up the kids.”
He said he returned about 20 minutes later and then the police came.
Chris Norby said he went through a “grueling and negative campaign” last year to win election to the California Assembly.
He replaced former GOP Assemblyman Mike Duvall of Yorba Linda. Duvall resigned a year ago after a camera in a state capitol hearing room caught him bragging about having sex with a female lobbyist, a liaison the lobbyist later denied ever happened.
As for the police investigation of what happened at his home, Chris Norby said: “I’m very confident nothing will come of it. Nothing’s there.”
— TRACY WOOD, NORBERTO SANTANA, JR., and ADAM ELMAHREK