Deputies Respond to Paula Lopez’s Home Four Times in Five Months

KEYT Anchor Opens Up about Alcoholism and Depression

Friday, August 2, 2013
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Santa Barbara Sheriff’s deputies responded to KEYT anchor Paula Lopez’s house four times in five months, officials disclosed Friday. Two of those incidents — on February 27 when she was reported missing, and on July 29 when she was arrested for public intoxication — received much public attention, but the other two call-outs were previously unreported.

Paula Lopez
Click to enlarge photo


Paula Lopez

On April 22 at around 7:45 p.m., deputies responded to Lopez’s home off North San Marcos Road for a welfare check. No enforcement action was taken. Then on June 23, deputies were again called to the house for a welfare check and again took no enforcement action. Little else is known about the incidents, but a statement Lopez released through KEYT this week may help explain what troubles are plaguing her homefront.

“I have been in professional medical treatment for the disease of alcoholism for a number of months,” Lopez said. “I have dealt with anxiety and depression for many years. Excessive self-medication is a fairly recent phenomenon for me. It has increased over time. I have had substantial periods of abstinence and sobriety. As can occur in the recovery process, I have also had failures and relapses.”

Lopez goes on to admit in the statement that information released to the media following her February disappearance — mainly that she was suffering from dehydration and pneumonia — was true, “but it was not complete.” KEYT did not directly respond to requests for comment.

“From your expressions, I know that vast multitudes of you understand my plight and sympathize with my circumstances,” she said. “Others of you cannot, and never will. I am extremely humbled and grateful for those who do. I ask the forgiveness of those who cannot.”

District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced Thursday that Lopez is eligible for the DA’s Misdemeanor Diversion Program, meaning that if she pays $250 and finishes the program, her public intoxication charge will be dropped. Dudley explained in a phone interview that Lopez’s lack of criminal history helped her qualify for the program.

Since its inception in November 2012, 188 public intoxication cases have been referred to the Misdemeanor Diversion Program, and 141 people have enrolled.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

And can someone remind me again why her children have not been removed from her home and/or custody????

Perhaps Judge Sterne or some other highly experienced family law judge and/or mother "with an excellent vocabulary" could enlighten the peons who need their exceedingly wise decisions to guide our community.

HolaAmigos (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 5:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I have a great idea! Why doesn't everyone mind their own business and leave Paula alone? This tabloid journalism is hardly newsworthy.

SBmama (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 5:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Her kids are older teens and there's another parent in the family. There, I've answered this question that you've repeatedly asked here and elsewhere.
You seem to take a rather perverse interest in this and I suspect it doesn't stem from any true concern over her children's safety or welfare. Quite frankly, I've always assumed you're a Genis family member or crony. If you postings were just a bit more illiterate, I might assume you were the G-dog himself.

zappa (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 5:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Yeah this is becoming like TMZ.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 5:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Oh no - it's Zappa. Over and out with that development.

Zappa - I will give you credit though for being unwaveringly consistent in your incorrect assumptions.

SBama. Its news, her husband is a judge vying for a position on the court of appeals, she is a high profile local public figure, etc.

She chose to put herself out there. Why don't you complain to the Independent and others, if comments on this matter are so devastating to you. She is of no personal concern to me. Her life, her choice.

It has to do with the larger issues about how this system and community operate and the deprivation of equal protection and due process to many citizens while others are afforded an excess of both.

Never watched TMZ - sorry.

Maybe this was all manufactured by her husband as an intervention using public resources - hmmm, new theory to ponder. She is clearly a burden to him. This would give him a high profile advantage if he wanted to dump her.


HolaAmigos (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 6:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You've never watched TMZ, Hola?! OMG, check it out .... It's right up your alley. Not kidding.

SBmama (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 6:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hola Amios, a person with no "personal concern" for a subject wouldn't comment repeatedly on it; asking why her children haven't been removed from the home a couple of times now seems pretty much the definition of personal concern.

You actually got a very good, concise answer from Zappa. Maybe you weren't interested in an answer, but rather an excuse to continue to ask your question.

Native1 (anonymous profile)
August 2, 2013 at 10:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This probably won't make the "Independent" grade, but this is a "family" matter....her husband, specifically. Many people, who remember, know their history.

topcat (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 6:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

maybe smoke weed instead of being a drunk.

Hemlockroid (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 8:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Paula Lopez is a "Jewel in the crown" of this great city. She is also a human being who deserves basic respect. I applaud her public statement and encourage her fight to win this human challenge. I also look forward to seeing her host next year's "Fiesta Pequena". My best wishes!

redliner (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 10:44 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you so much, Paula! You have brought to our attention- once again - this debilitating disease of alcoholism. You are very brave to allow the public into your personal medical business. I appreciate that not only are you battling your demons but you are doing it in public. Because you have the grace and dignity to allow everyone in on your problem you have helped others struggling with this disease. I urge those with negative comments to remember that this problem affects not just Paula but her entire family - please back off! She has done a courageous thing; now she needs understanding and time to take care of herself. Paula: you are beautiful and talented and a wonderful mother. Your husband is also a great man and amazing parent. I wish all of you the BEST - communication os the key!

secretsquirrel (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 2:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Betty Ford confronted her demons, turned her life around, and took away a lot of the needless shame that's dumped on people with addictions. Paula can do the same.

America wastes a lot of energy by stuffing in their feelings and not getting help. These low points in life can often serve a greater purpose.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 4:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

In addition hypocritical puritanical as exhibitted here by some comments are another factor that keeps people from seeking help, for fear of stigmatization and ostracization.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 4:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

HolaAmigos: Agreed - Santa Barbara tradition, like fiesta and discrimination against low-income Latinos and anyone else who files a complaint against a person protected by the DA or LE. I didn't know about Ochoa going for an appeals court appointment, but it smells a lot like Judge Diana Hall's penalty for refusing to allow Tom Sneddon to make the decision in one of her court cases. Compare with Iya Falcone, a major LE fan, very little press, no charge for hitting a parked car. Noozhawk censored my similar comment. I can't see that Ochoa could benefit from the use of tax dollars in intervention. This is a totally personal issue, in any case, and the media attention probably isn't the best way to help her or any of the tens of thousands of people in the county with similar problems, although it's good to see some human beings in the community supporting Lopez as one. Maybe we should be more concerned with CHP officers who are intoxicated enough at the start of a shift driving on the freeway to hit two parked cars, or drunk prison guards on meth involved in an "accidental" homicide, or even SBPD officers who happen to be possessing heroin while on duty.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 7:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

like I told my husband. It will be interesting to see which side of the community stands by her. I remember reading one time an article in
the local paper saying. "The only time the whites talk to us is at Fiesta"...must be Fiesta. We never know what started this, perhaps it stems from her losing her mother. What ever the case may be, we are all human and know one is better than the other. Since her kids are older, perhaps it will be easier for them to understand and help their mother.

krissy (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 8:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Re my earlier mention of low-income Latinos.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
August 3, 2013 at 8:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank Gawd 14 brought racism into this discussion; proof positive that it can be used by anyone at any time...
Instead, I'll simply express that I feel sorry for Ms. Lopez and her public statement was better than most.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 7:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If an ordinary person had this exact history, the current case would be filed and the DA would seek restitution for the helicopter search and other LE efforts as part of the "settlement" of the charge, but there is no way Joyce Dudley will do that to a judges wife, so Paula and Frank will receive special treatment.
As for her health issues, I, like many others wish her recovery and prosperity.

DarrylGenis (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 8:24 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Like I said before, "Finally!"

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 2:01 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ummmm please note when "helicpoter searches" have been how about the out of towners and local fools who hike in 90d heat without water, or while drinking, or go out on a kayak withut life preservers etc etc thinking that their cell phone will insulate them from the consequences of stupidity......i do not think any of them paid "restituttion".......

whosecityisthis2012 (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 4:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Look the Sheriff desperately NEEDS high profile "rescues" to justify his little "air force", but the fact of the matter is that most of its "mission" is to fly around searching for "illegal marijuana grows". (When California finally votes MJ legal, I don't know how he'll be able to live!)

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 7:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is a JOKE, right? Because Lopez sits on a parade float once/year and reads off a teleprompter (poorly), she's excused from dealing with the local judicial system that torments the rest of those who make the mistake of walking down State Street with a couple of drinks under their belt? This is CORRUPTION at it's most blatant.
And to ignore the complicity of Dudley and hubby Frank in all of this--can you imagine what the late-night phone calls must be like?--only feeds the ravenous beast of the SB Police State.
Oh, wait---Lopez admits to having a "medical problem". I wonder if it's the same "medical problem" that plagues a large percentage of those arrested each and every day on our streets, and who are JAILED and PROSECUTED without consideration of their "medical problem."
In SB, Lady Justice is indeed blind...blind to the realities of CORRUPTION. Where is the Grand Jury when we need them?

Beachgirl77 (anonymous profile)
August 4, 2013 at 10:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well... there is at least one other "mitigating" factor - she just happens to be married to a presiding judge. (But, I'm SURE that doesn't get her any special treatment. After all, in Amurika, we believe in "the rule of law"!)

spiritwalker (anonymous profile)
August 5, 2013 at 3:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This entire situation is racist, agist, and sexist. Case closed.

italiansurg (anonymous profile)
August 5, 2013 at 5:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Si se puede italiansurg.

AZ2SB (anonymous profile)
August 5, 2013 at 12:17 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Italiansurg - dont get me wrong I love everything italian inlcuding and especially Italy and everything Mexican, Greek, Persian, Bristish, Turkish, etc, etc etc (meaning: I'm not racist, sexist and I LOVE old people - the back bone of our society in my opinion) but you REALLY need to work on your critical thinking skills.

Implying that a 48 woman is old - as evidenced by your "agist" comment is "agist" in itself. There are many high profile women reporters older than Paula.

Did you forget any other "ist?"

Wondering if you are male or female. You needn't answer - your right not to - but im guessing....?

HolaAmigos (anonymous profile)
August 6, 2013 at 11:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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