Former state Assemblyman Chris Norby, arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and child endangerment, denied the allegations Thursday, saying he was the victim in the incident.
Norby was booked and then released on $10,000 bail after Fullerton police were summoned to his Puente Street home around noon Wednesday.
Citing state law, authorities said they were prohibited from releasing more information about the alleged victim.
But on Thursday Norby denied the allegations.
"Let's just say there's been numerous times. I'm the victim here," he said in a telephone interview. "I've never laid a finger on her."
The former assemblyman said he believes his wife went to the Fullerton police station to report the alleged abuse. He said he was the only one at home when officers arrived.
"She said I pushed her or bumped into her shoulder," Norby said. "There's a whole other side that's going to come out, and it's going to show that I'm the victim."
His wife could not be reached for comment.
Before representing parts of north Orange County in the state Legislature, Norby was an Orange County supervisor and mayor of Fullerton. He lost his Assembly reelection bid in 2012 to Sharon Quirk-Silva, a Democrat.
Norby was investigated in 2010 after a deliveryman called police to say he overheard an argument between Norby and his fourth wife, Martha Norby.
Martha Norby told officers that her husband had pushed her, police told The Times in 2010. Norby denied the allegation, telling The Times that he and his wife had been arguing but that "it was purely verbal."
The district attorney declined to file criminal charges in that case, saying there was insufficient evidence.
In 2012 the state Fair Political Practices Commission dismissed allegations that Norby misused campaign money to pay for a motel stay.
Before the ruling, Norby told the Times he was surprised that his stay at the Fullerton A Inn was charged to his campaign and said he planned to reimburse the account.
The state's ethics watchdog agency found that the $340 charge was properly paid for because it served a governmental purpose to help Norby study how the homeless and transient population relies on motels.
The current case against Norby will be forwarded to the district attorney's office, which will decide whether to file charges, Stuart said.
Norby is expected to appear in court March 19.