Kremen temporarily steps down as water board chair while lawyers investigate photo scandal

Gary Kremen

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Daily Post Staff Writer

Gary Kremen said he is stepping down as chair of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, also known as Valley Water, while an independent law firm investigates shirtless photos of him and his girlfriend that were seen and shared by a former employee.

Kremen said he will remain on the Valley Water board, but he will no longer run meetings. Kremen dropped out of Santa Clara County assessor race on Saturday after the former employee publicized the existence of the photos, which Kremen said accidentally showed his girlfriend Essy Stone’s left nipple.

“My partner and I are confident that as the truth comes to light, the public’s trust in me will be restored. In the meantime, I ask for everyone’s patience,” he said in a statement.

Kremen said that he asked the assistant to choose family photos from his iPhone library to use for the campaign last year. The assistant went through 20,000 photos, and four of them contained nudity. Kremen said the photos were taken while Stone was breastfeeding their baby.

The assistant stopped working for the campaign after a disagreement over a situation in the Middle East, Kremen said. Kremen said he lost his temper in an argument.

“The former assistant then began sharing the photos around,” he said. “This was at best a betrayal of trust, and at worst revenge porn — an unauthorized non-consensual sharing of private pictures which led to invasion of privacy.”