Political Notebook

Arambula keeps Assembly chairmanship, committee positions after arrest

Assemblyman Joaquin Arambula, D-Fresno, will remain the chairman of the state Assembly’s budget subcommittee on health and human services in the wake of his arrest earlier this month on a child abuse accusation.

Speaker Anthony Rendon announced Thursday that Arambula will also serve on seven other committees and subcommittees in the upcoming legislative session, which will next meet on Jan. 7.

Fresno police arrested Arambula on Dec. 10 on a misdemeanor willful cruelty to a child accusation. Arambula said he spanked his 7-year-old daughter on the buttocks as a disciplinary act, but police maintain he committed a crime when he allegedly injured the girl in another unspecified area.

The case has since been referred to the Fresno County District Attorney’s office, which has until March 13 – Arambula’s court date on the misdemeanor citation – to decide whether to formally charge the assemblyman.

Arambula has regained custody of his three daughters.

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Rory Appleton is a fourth-generation Fresnan who covers politics for his hometown newspaper. A Fresno State graduate, he has won six first-place California News Publishers Association awards and a McClatchy President’s Award for his reporting and column writing over the last two years.