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Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed a longtime state manager to direct the California Employment Development Department, which oversees unemployment and disability benefits, he announced today.

Pamela Harris, a 56-year-old Placerville Democrat, served as acting director since 2009 at EDD before Brown officially appointed her to the post. She began working for the state in 1978 as a Department of Finance auditor. She will earn $142,965 annually.

Brown also appointed Jan Owen, a 59-year-old West Sacramento Democrat, as commissioner at the Department of Corporations. Owen worked for the Department of Financial Institutions from 1996 to 2000 before spending the last decade in the private sector at the California Mortgage Bankers Association, Washington Mutual, JP Morgan Chase and Apple. She will receive $142,965 annually.

Other appointees include:

Pete LaBahn, a 56-year-old Laguna Beach Democrat, to the Board of Parole Hearings. A former Riverside County Sheriff's Department official, LaBahn previously served on the parole board from 2009 to 2010. He will earn $111,845.

Herbert "Bert" Mason, a 62-year-old Fresno Democrat, to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. A retired California State University, Fresno, professor, he previously served on the board from 1999 to 2002. He will earn $128,109.

Margaret Tatar, a 53-year-old Santa Ana decline-to-state voter, as chief of the Medi-Cal Managed Care Division at the Department of Health Care Services. She previously served as executive director of public affairs at CalOptima, an Orange County health care plan for low-income residents. She will earn $122,196.

All of the appointments but Tatar's require Senate confirmation.


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