Brown names Oakland woman as WCAB chair

Gov. Jerry Brown today named an Oakland woman as chair of the state Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board.

Ronnie Caplane, 63, has served on the board since 2003, when she was appointed by then-Gov. Gray Davis; she was re-appointed in 2009 by then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. The seven-member board reviews petitions for reconsideration of decisions by workers’ compensation administrative law judges.

Caplane has a long history of Democratic activism, and remains a board member of the National Women’s Political Caucus-Alameda North. Caplane placed third out of five in the 2006 Democratic primary for what was then the 16th Assembly District, losing to Sandre Swanson. She also served for on the Piedmont Unified School District Board from 1998 to 2006, including two years as the board’s president.

Her late husband, Joe Remcho, was a prominent attorney who had worked with the state’s top Democrats on a variety of issues; he died in a January 2003 helicopter crash.

She was a freelance writer and columnist for the Piedmonter and the Montclarion – papers owned by the same company as this blog and website – from 1992 to 2006; a partner at the Bruynell and Caplane law firm from 1983 to 1985; and a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Division from 1979 to 1982. She holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.

The appointment does not require Senate confirmation; the annual salary is $132,179.

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.

  • REW

    Jerry Brown, and Arnold Scwartzenegger before him, promised to get rid of these jobs, they are no-work, now-show jobs. These “job holders” attend a meeting a month or something like that, for this they get $132,000 a year. Typically these jobs go to termed out legislators, or other “connected” political hanger-ons. These no-show jobs are affront to the thousands of Californians that are desperate to go to work.