Announcements regarding key staffing changes of importance to California's rural counties.
Patrick Butler, of Ukiah, has been appointed to the State Independent Living Council. Butler has been a Custodian for the Ukiah Unified School District since 2019 and did Work Study for the Citrus Heights Veterans Center from 2015 to 2018. Butler was a Fleet Marine Force Hospital Corpsman in the U.S. Navy from 2004 to 2009. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Butler is a Democrat.
Blanca Castro, of Lincoln, has been appointed State Long-Term Care Ombudsman at the California Department of Aging. Castro was Advocacy Director for AARP of California from 2013 to 2021. She was Provider Outreach and Education Manager for Xerox State Health Care LLC from 2007 to 2013, Project Manager for MAXIMUS from 2005 to 2007 and Deputy Director of Public Affairs for the California Department of Social Services from 2000 to 2005. Castro was a Project Coordinator for the California Department of Health Services Diabetes Control Program from 1998 to 2000. Castro is a member of the American Society on Aging. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $145,008. Castro is a Democrat.
Michael “Mike” Keever, of Camino, has been appointed Chief Deputy Director at the California Department of Transportation, where he has served as Acting Deputy Director since 2021. Keever has served in several positions at the California Department of Transportation since 2003, including Division Chief – Project Management, Division Chief – Division of Engineering Services, Principal Bridge Engineer, Division of Engineering Services Deputy Division Chief, Supervising Bridge Engineer, Division of Engineering Services Structure Design Office Chief, Supervising Transportation Engineer, District 8 Design Manager, Acting Principal Bridge Engineer and Earthquake Engineering Office Chief. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $209,004. Keever is a Republican.
Charles Nies, of Merced, has been reappointed to the California Student Aid Commission, where he has served since 2018. Nies has served as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at the University of California, Merced since 2016, where he was Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students from 2006 to 2016. He served in several positions at Miami University from 2000 to 2006, including as Assistant Dean. Nies earned a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Leadership from Washington State University. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Nies is a Democrat.
David R. O’Brien, of West Sacramento, has been appointed to the California Student Aid Commission. O’Brien has been Vice Chancellor of Government Relations for the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office since 2020. He served as Director of Government Affairs for the California Student Aid Commission from 2016 to 2020, as well as Legislative Manager and Acting Assistant Director for Legislation at the California Department of State Hospitals from 2012 to 2016. O’Brien was a Legislative Analyst at the California Department of Mental Health from 2010 to 2011. He was a Student Legislative Assistant for the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2010. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. O’Brien is a Democrat.
Amarik Singh, of Placerville, has been appointed Inspector General at the Office of the Inspector General. Singh has been Senior Assistant Inspector General at the Office of the Inspector General since 2019, where she was Special Assistant Inspector General from 2016 to 2019 and served as Special Assistant Inspector General from 2007 to 2012. She was a Commissioner on the Board of Parole Hearings from 2012 to 2015. Singh served as a Deputy District Attorney in the Kern County District Attorney’s Office from 2005 to 2007 and as Adjunct Faculty at the Tulare-Kings County Police Academy from 2002 to 2005. Singh was a Deputy District Attorney at the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office from 1997 to 2005. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $192,382. Singh is a Republican.