The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

November 6, 2010
From the notebook: The prison medical receiver documents

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for notebook-thumb-216x184-9328.jpg"From the notebook" posts give State Worker blog users some of the details and documents behind the news.

Our story in today's Bee looks at the deal worked out to allow federally appointed prison medical receiver J. Clark Kelso to keep his state employee status while working at the pleasure of U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson.

The story explains how Kelso is a consultant to the Administrative Office of the Courts for payroll purposes. The arrangement allows him to maintain independence from the executive and legislative branches of government -- key to his role as the federal appointee tasked with reforming the state's prison medical system -- while continuing his membership in CalPERS as a state employee.

Click here to read several documents that informed this story, including the receiver's employment agreement between the Administrative Office of the Courts and the nonprofit California Prison Health Care Receivership Corp., Henderson's order appointing Kelso as the receiver, Kelso's biography and two letters from Henderson to the AOC about the deal.

One of Kelso's former employees, Linda Buzzini, asked CalPERS to count her employment as a receivership staff attorney toward her CalPERS pension. The fund denied her request. This link downloads CalPERS' 10-page response, which was copied to Kelso and CalPERS CEO Anne Stausboll.

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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