Jerry Brown taps pension-reform proponent for high-level post

10/17/2013 4:22 PM

10/30/2013 12:58 PM

Gov. Jerry Brown has named a government official who defended pension rollbacks for current employees to be deputy secretary at the new California Government Operations Agency .

Stuart Drown is leaving his post as executive director of the Little Hoover Commission . In 2011, he drew fire when the 12-member panel issued a report urging lawmakers to corral public pension costs by freezing accrued benefits for current employees and move them into less-generous plans going forward. San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed cites the commission’s report as inspiration for the public pension proposal he’s trying to put on the November 2014 statewide ballot.

A week after the commission issued its report, Drown defended it during a Mar. 2, 2011 legislative hearing. Here’s a Bee clip of Drown fielding questions from skeptical Democrats:

The commission later supported Brown’s ambitious government reorganization plans which included creating the Government Operations Agency. Drown displayed a keen understanding of the bureaucracy and government culture during that process and at one point was rumored as a candidate for the operations agency secretary position eventually filled by Marybel Batjer .

Drown has been executive director of the Little Hoover Commission since 2006. Before that, he worked as an editor at The Sacramento Bee for seven years, his last stop in a journalism career that started in 1986. A registered Democrat, he holds a master’s in public policy from UC Berkeley. His new position pays $127,884 per year and does not require Senate confirmation.

The administration also announced that Timothy Gorsuch has been appointed director at the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control , where he has worked since 1993. Gorsuch, a Republican, also served in the California Army National Guard from 1983 to 2004. His new post, which requires Senate confirmation, pays $143,424 per year.

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