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.