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With current Assembly Rules Committee boss Jon Waldie retiring, Debra Gravert has taken over as the powerful committee's chief administrative officer.

Gravert will oversee issues like legislative pay, staffing and the internal laws governing how the Assembly functions. Before winning the new position, Gravert had worked as chief of staff to Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, and twice ran unsuccessfully for a Sacramento-area Assembly seat.

Waldie will officially retire in November, and in the meantime will be working in the office of outgoing Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, D-Los Angeles. His departure will cap a 34-year career working for the Legislature that began in the mail room, complementing nighttime courses at the Pacific McGeorge School of Law. He has been working for the Rules Committee for well over a decade, spanning multiple Assembly leaders.

"You know when it's time," Waldie said of his retirement. "17 years is a long time doing one gig."

Now Waldie plans to spend some time with his family, including attending to his oldest daughter's June wedding.

"That's consuming a lot of our day right now," he said.

PHOTO: Jon Waldie, walks down the small staircase on top of the interior dome inside the Exterior dome at the Capitol, Thursday, March 6, 2008. The Sacramento Bee/ Brian Baer.



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