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Jerry Brown names new worker-safety watchdogs

By Josh Richman
Monday, April 4th, 2011 at 1:17 pm in Jerry Brown.

Gov. Jerry Brown shook up leadership of the state’s worker-safety watchdogs by appointing three Bay Area people to various posts today.

Christine BakerChristine Baker, 61, of Berkeley, was named chief deputy director of the Department of Industrial Relations. Baker has been the executive officer of the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation since 1994; before that, she was acting deputy director at the Division of Workers’ Compensation from 1990 to 1994, the chief of the Division of Labor Statistics and Research from 1984 to 1989, and a research assistant at the University of California, Berkeley from 1980 to 1982. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the annual salary is $138,000. Baker is registered decline-to-state.

Ellen WidessEllen Widess, 63, of Berkeley, was named chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA). A self-employed consultant in occupational safety and health and immigration policy since 2010, she earlier was senior program officer for the Rosenberg Foundation from 2000 to 2010; a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control on updated child labor standards from 1998 to 1999; executive director of Lead Safe California from 1994 to 1998; and the director of health policy at the Children’s Advocacy Institute from 1991 to 1994. Widess worked at Cal/OSHA as the chief of the pesticide program from 1978 to 1984. This position requires Senate confirmation and the annual salary is $125,004. Widess is a Democrat.

Art Carter, 69, of San Francisco, was appointed to be a member and chair of the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board, on which he has served since 2009. Until retiring in 2004, Carter had owned and served as the legislative advocate for Art Carter and Associates since 1984. In 1983, he was the deputy chief administrative officer for the city of San Francisco and from 1976 to 1983 he worked as the chief of the Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration for the Department of Industrial Relations. Also, Carter, was the secretary-treasurer for the Contra Costa County Central Labor Council from 1967 to 1976. This position requires Senate confirmation and the annual salary is $115,913. Carter is a Democrat.

Brown also today re-appointed two other Bay Area men to state commissions. More on that, after the jump…

Michael Dean, 69, of Alameda, was appointed to the California Commission on Disability Access, on which he has served since 2009 as its representative from the California Business Properties Association. An attorney, Dean has worked at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP since 1967, serving as the firm’s managing partner for most of the 1990s. He served on Oakland’s Downtown Revitalization Task Force from 2001 to 2002; the board of directors of Oakland Convention Center Management Inc. from 1989 to 1995; and the Oakland Community Development Advisory Commission from 1983 to 1988. This position requires Senate confirmation and comes with a $100 per diem. Dean is a Republican.

Michael Sobek, 48, of Dublin, was appointed to the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training, on which he has served since 2008. Sobek is San Leandro Police sergeant who currently serves as the secretary for the Peace Officers Research Association of California. This position requires Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Sobek is an American Independent.

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