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By Brian Hews
The first in a series of articles published by Hews Media Group-Community News two weeks ago revealed a high salaried Democratic staffer paid to contact women on the Ashley Madison adultery website and did most of the illicit work while on state time.
Last week, HMG-CN revealed that a prominent State Senator was on the list.
The data was part of the Ashley Madison data dump that occurred in 2015.
Ashley Madison is a website that touts themselves as “the most recognized and reputable extramarital affair company in the world. ”
The website made headlines in July 2015 when a group calling itself “The Impact Team” stole data and threatened to release users’ names and personally identifying information if Ashley Madison was not immediately shut down.
Ashley Madison refused to shut down, so the hackers released the information of all 37 million users online.
Journalists initially searched for prominent email user names in the database, but a user could enter a false or fictitious email, so most hit a wall and ended their search.
Consequently, those investigations did not reveal what was hidden deeper in the database.
No one in the media took a serious look at the financial records contained in the data dump until HMG-CN commissioned a programmer to sort the gigabytes of information into a searchable format.
The financial data was broken down into categories that included card user’s name, address, card number, IP address, the time the card, was charged and registered email.
Surfing for an Affair
Once on Ashley Madison, if a user wanted to take the next step and pay to contact a young woman to have an affair, the user would need to input a valid credit card number and information related to that card number.
Similar to any other website, the name, billing address, zip code, expiration date, and the three-digit “CVV” number related to the card would have to match or the charge would be declined.
The first prominent name found in the database was Trent Hager, Chief of Staff to Senator Cathleen Galgiani (D-Stockton CA) and now Adam Gray (D-Merced),
Hager earns a hefty $141,408 per year according to the Senate.ca.gov website and is married to Janelle Beland, who works for Governor Jerry Brown.
Hager told HMG-CN, “Here’s what I know. My credit card has been hacked 3 times in the last 4 years. The Legislative work hours are 35 hours per week. All employees are entitled to a lunch hour and breaks. ”
With that quote, Hager basically admitted he used the site on those occasions.
Prominent State Senator
Another HMG-CN search shockingly found former speaker of the state Assembly and current State Senator Robert “Bob” Hertzberg (D-Los Angeles) on the list.
Hertzberg won election to the 18th Senate District in 2014 that includes much of the San Fernando Valley.
Once his name was found, HMG-CN attempted to contact Sen. Hertzberg several times, finally receiving an answer Aug. 24.
His first comment to the evidence in the Ashley Madison database and questioning was very short saying, “Not true. I did not use the site. I checked with the bank and credit agency, I haven’t had a card with that number.”
Hertzberg was subsequently told after his first comment that the card had the Mayer-Brown address of 350 S. Grand with a Suite number of 250, and that the card used was in his name Robert Hertzberg.
HMG-CN then informed Senator Hertzberg that the person entering the credit card data and purchasing access entered a username of ‘DDMYLES.’
Myles is Sen. Hertzburg’s middle name according to his State Bar license and registration.
The Hertzberg camp responded by saying “we are in the middle of a very busy time, if you can wait…., we can check further and give a more complete answer.”
Former Orange County Supervisor
Now another search has revealed a prominent name in politics, one that could generate attention at the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Chris Norby, the former Republican Assemblyman and Orange County Supervisor, used the site during a total of eight times during the first three months of 2013.
A notable find, but the revelation has even more serious ramifications at the office of the OCDA.
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. Norby denied the claim, saying that he and his wife had been arguing but that “it was purely verbal.”
The district attorney declined to file criminal charges against him in that case citing “insufficient evidence.”
In March of 2014, Norby was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence and child endangerment.
Norby accused Martha of having made false statements that led to his arrest.
“I’m the victim here, ” said Norby. “I’ve never laid a finger on her. I’ve been subject to abuse — physical, emotional and financial — over the past few years. … She’s extremely bipolar.”
While Norby was telling the media and detectives about his wife abusing him and how he was the “victim,” he was trolling Ashley Madison, sometimes every day, looking to have an affair.
But the DA had no idea Norby was browsing for and paying to view women looking for an affair.
Consequently the DA declined to file criminal charges against him in that case citing “insufficient evidence.”
But this new evidence found by HMG-CN could turn that decision upside down and might lead to a new trial.
Sources at the OCDA said that it was “very interesting and intriguing evidence,” and that HMG-CN “should call the Fullerton Police detectives assigned to the Norby case because they would be the lead for another investigation.”
Norby’s 2013 charges occurred on
• Jan. 17 at 11:24 p.m.
• Jan. 18 at 12:01 a.m.
• Jan. 19 at 11:25 a.m.
• Jan. 22 at 7:45 p.m.
• Jan. 29 at 9:56 a.m.
• Feb. 6 at 10:38 a.m.
• Mar. 7 at 6:40 p.m.
• Mar. 18 at 4:04 a.m.
The name on the card was Chris Norby and the address was in Fullerton, the city where Norby lived at the time.
HMG-CN has tried several times to contact Norby for comment with no success.
Another Republican Assemblyman
HMG-CN also found additional evidence of another current Republican Assemblyman on the site who represents a district in Central California.
The person’s name and mailing address match, which is a strong indication the Asssemblyman used the site, but there was not a clear pattern of usage over time similar to Hager, Hertzberg or Norby.
HMG-CN has attempted to contact the Assemblyman and is awaiting an answer.
Copyright-Hews Media Group, Los Cerritos Community Newspaper, All rights reserved. Reproduction by permission and attribution only.
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