Describing the new grandmother as "an incredibly sweet person," he said it wasn't unusual for drug and alcohol counselors to have addiction in their own past, as well as trouble with the law. Those circumstances help them connect with patients, he said.
"This absolutely came out of the blue. If I were to rank someone for risk of relapse, she would be pretty low on the list," he said.
Lisonbee said he didn't know what Wilkins had been addicted to.
Wilkins's previous hit-and-run arrest in Torrance came on May 30, 2010. Charges were not pursued because she had no alcohol in her system and was not found to be under the influence of other substances, according to Assistant City Attorney Patrick Sullivan.
An agreement was reached between Wilkins and owners of the other vehicles, and the hit-and-run case was dismissed, he said.
In 1994, she was convicted with a co-defendant on one count of burglary and sentenced to nine years in prison.