California AG’s wife recuses herself from overseeing his department’s budget

A person touches the jacket of another person.
Assemblymember Mia Bonta places an “I Voted” sticker on the jacket of her husband, state Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta, on June 7, 2022, in Alameda, Calif.
(Yalonda M. James / San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

California Atty. Gen. 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 (D-Alameda) 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 Bonta on the issue.

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

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood) had appointed 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 Gov. Gavin Newsom.

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

Newsom picked Rob Bonta to fill an unexpired term as the state’s top lawman in 2021. He was elected to a full four-year term in November.