Victoria Wright, the frequently ticketed daughter of Assemblywoman Cathie Wright (R-Simi Valley), was sentenced to 30 days in jail Wednesday for violating the conditions of her probation for a traffic offense.
Her jail term is to begin April 18. But Wright’s attorney, Lawrence Noble, said his client will apply for a work furlough so she can continue in her job as a supermarket cashier. She would be confined at the minimum-security Work Furlough Facility at Camarillo Airport at night and on weekends.
Victoria Wright’s driving record has come under public scrutiny because Ventura County Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury’s office is investigating reports that Cathie Wright improperly sought to use her clout with judges, Simi Valley police and the state Department of Motor Vehicles to keep her only child from losing her license.
The lawmaker’s daughter, who has received 27 traffic tickets and been in six accidents since 1981, did not attend the Municipal Court arraignment in Ventura. Noble entered a guilty plea on her behalf. In the past, she has declined to discuss her driving record or the controversy surrounding it. But, in a prepared statement delivered outside the courtroom Wednesday after the sentencing, Noble said:
“This has had a severe impact on her emotional state. She accepts the responsibility for her actions and apologizes for any embarrassment to the court, to city officials and her mother. While she is terribly concerned about the court decision . . . she is more concerned about the hurt and damage to people she cares about.
“Now that this is behind her, she asks that she be left alone so that she can put her life together.”
‘I Am Saddened’
In a written statement, Cathie Wright, who has denied doing anything wrong on her daughter’s behalf, said, in part: “I am saddened as any parent would be. . . . Speaking as Assemblywoman Wright, the system has spoken and the law has been impartially imposed.”
Victoria Wright, 24, was put on three years’ probation and given a 30-day suspended sentence on April 18, 1988, by Municipal Judge Herbert Curtis III for driving without a license. At that point, she had 13 moving violations in the previous three years.
Under the terms of her probation, she was to inform the court in writing within 10 days if she committed another traffic offense. Wright’s case was brought back to Curtis on Wednesday because she received five subsequent traffic tickets and failed to advise the court.
One of those subsequent tickets, a September speeding offense, prompted the DMV on March 9 to revoke Victoria Wright’s restricted license to drive to and from work. Her mother said she would have to hire someone to drive Victoria between her home and job.
Noble said he believed that his client would qualify for the work furlough program for nonviolent offenders. The Corrections Services Agency, Ventura County’s probation department, decides on applicants based on nine factors, including the offense, age, length of employment, number of dependents and attitude.
Inmates can only leave the locked facility to go to work. If her application is rejected, Wright will serve her term in the Sheriff’s Branch Jail Honor Farm in Ojai for women.
Victim of Notoriety
Frederick Rosenmund, an Oxnard attorney who represented Victoria Wright before Curtis last year, said the assemblywoman’s daughter was the victim of her own notoriety.
“She probably would not have ended up in jail except for all the media attention,” he said.
Bradbury, meanwhile, said Wednesday that the monthlong probe by his special investigation unit into allegations of improper use of influence by Assemblywoman Wright was largely completed. He expects to release its findings by April 30.