The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

February 28, 2012
Internal memo leaks name of Jerry Brown's next personnel director

Thumbnail image for 101022 mail image.jpg3:04 p.m.: Updated with further comments from Ron Yank.

According to an internal email to Department of Personnel Administration staff, Julie Chapman will replace Ron Yank as DPA director.

The source of the memo obtained by The Bee and verified by DPA: Yank himself.

"... I want to tell you that it will be the friend, sidekick, and mentor of many at DPA who will replace me -- Julie Chapman. Julie has been my choice (and after discussions with him, that of Marty Morgenstern) ever since March of last year," Yank said in the email to DPA employees last week. "I asked her to take the gig last August or September. I know she will be a great Director of DPA (and, within months, of Cal HR). I know she will continue the direction and efforts of this Administration."

Neither Yank, whose last day at DPA is Wednesday, nor Labor Secretary Marty Morgenstern has the authority to name the DPA director. They may have had a role in suggesting who should have the job, but Gov. Jerry Brown makes the decision. Yank certainly is in a good position to know who is following him.

Assuming the memo is accurate -- Brown won't name the next DPA chief for at least a day or so, we're told -- Chapman's appointment means that the department's No. 2, Chief Deputy Director Howard Schwartz, has been passed over for the job in favor of a subordinate.

Update 3:05 p.m.: Yank called The State Worker a few minutes ago to note that Chapman and Schwartz are two of three executive-level staff who report directly to the DPA director. He viewed them and Chief Counsel Joan Markoff are essentially equals, so to his way of thinking, Schwartz isn't being passed over by a subordinate. Yank recommended Chapman as his successor, he said, because her experience matches with what he called DPA's "center of gravity" to handle labor relations.

Chapman is the deputy director of Labor Relations for DPA. Her state government career goes back to 1988, when she served as an associate personnel services analyst for the Department of Housing and Community Services. She worked in labor relations at the Department of General Services and the Department of Mental Health before coming to DPA in 2000 as a labor relations officer.

And what title will Chapman receive? DPA is in the midst of absorbing staff from the State Personnel Board as it continues to reorganize into the California Department of Human Resources, which officially launches July 1. Will Yank's successor be named an interim head of the soon-to-vanish DPA or will she be named to finished the departments' merger and then head Cal HR?

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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 jortiz@sacbee.com.

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