San Gabriel Mayor Albert Huang, who was arrested early Friday morning after a dispute at a dumpling house, told the China Press that he and the woman named in the suit had been in a relationship. He said that he and his wife Maryann Chen signed a separation agreement at the end of 2009 when she was pregnant with their second child. Early this year, he claimed, he started dating the other woman, whose identity has not been released.
According to police, the 35-year-old Huang drove off with his companion's purse at 45 miles per hour in a 25 miles-per-hour zone, knowing that the female victim was on the running board of his SUV. He has been released on 100,000 bail. The reason why he took the woman's purse was that he wanted to get the car key in it, and that the woman clung onto the car due to "relationship problems," Huang told the World Journal.
"As a public official and a former Boy Scout, I hold myself to the highest standard of conduct," Mayor Albert Huang said in a statement, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and the L.A. Times. "It was a great misunderstanding between friends. As a result I am confident I will restore my innocence in court."
According to China Press, Huang has been actively looking for a lawyer since his release on Friday, but hasn't authorized any lawyer to represent him so far. He believes that the justice system will prove him innocent and does not want to go to court because of a personal dispute.
Meanwhile, Huang told China Press that he would still fulfill his duty as the city mayor and attend the information session held by California High-Speed Rail Authority in San Gabriel on Tuesday. He does not have to give up his post unless convicted.