Brown names new CalEPA chief from Castro Valley

Gov. Jerry Brown is moving a top state Justice Department lawyer from Castro Valley over to run the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Matt Rodriquez, 58, has served with the state Department of Justice since 1987, currently serving both as chief deputy attorney general for legal affairs – overseeing the department’s more than 1,100 attorneys – and as chief assistant attorney general, for the department’s public rights division, which handles consumer, environmental, anti-trust, civil rights and charitable trust cases

As a deputy attorney general from 1987 to 1999, he represented the Attorney General and clients of the Land Law Section of the Attorney General’s Office, including the California Coastal Commission, State Lands Commission, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. As a senior assistant attorney general from 1999 to 2008, Rodriquez oversaw the Land Law Section of the Attorney General’s Office.

Before working for the Justice Department, Rodiquez was Hayward’s deputy city attorney from 1985 to 1987; Livermore’s assistant city attorney from 1983 to 1985; associate program analyst for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research from 1981 to 1983; and a graduate student assistant for the California Coastal Commission from 1979 to 1981.

The California Environmental Protection Agency is charged with developing, implementing and enforcing the state’s environmental protection laws that ensure clean air, clean water, clean soil, safe pesticides and waste recycling and reduction.

Rodiquez, a Democrat, will have to be confirmed to his new job by the state Senate; his annual salary would be $175,000.

Linda Adams of Sacramento has served as CalEPA’s secretary since her May 2006 appointment by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.