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Efren Carrillo's return date uncertain; rehab continues

Sonoma County Supervisor Efren Carrillo will remain in rehab for at least a few more weeks, allowing the embattled 5th District representative to complete the first phase of an ongoing alcohol treatment program, his defense attorney Chris Andrian said Saturday.

Carrillo checked into an out-of-county facility following his arrest July 13 in his west Santa Rosa neighborhood on suspicion of prowling and burglary. He is suspected of trying to enter a young woman's home through her bedroom window and was wearing only underwear and socks when he was arrested.

His monthlong rehab stint initially was projected to end Monday. He'd been penciled in to return to work Wednesday, said Susan Upchurch, his district director.

Efren Carrillo In Court

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But Andrian said the 32-year-old, who on Tuesday will miss his third Board of Supervisors meeting, isn't ready to return to work.

There is no specific timetable for his return, which hinges on when his doctors believe Carrillo has acquired the skills he'll need to successfully deal with his alcoholism, Andrian said.

"He is still in phase one of their program, which means he is not coming out in the next few days," his attorney said. "He's remaining until he completes this phase ... they are working on a plan for him to re-enter the world at some point hopefully in the near future."

Andrian met with Carrillo, who represents west Sonoma County, for about three hours Friday afternoon at the center. He declined to say where the center is located, citing a facility requirement of secrecy to avoid media attention.

They had "heartfelt conversations," he said, discussing his progress with the treatment program and his next steps, including an outpatient treatment program he'll enter once back in Sonoma County.

They also discussed the status of his criminal case and his possible return to public life after his time in seclusion. Andrian said Carrillo is aware of public reaction to the incidents surrounding his arrest and of political unrest in his district. But the attorney said Carrillo's focus has to be on his recovery and it is too early for him to make decisions about his political future.

"He's committed to getting healthy and to be in a position to make the right choices. He knows everybody's anxious ... about an empty (supervisor's) seat. Sometimes in life we've got to be patient ... give (him) a chance to get through a difficult time and make a choice," Andrian said.


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