California Senate confirms state Guard commander

03/20/2012 12:00 AM

03/20/2012 8:12 AM

The Senate on Monday unanimously confirmed Gov. Jerry Brown's pick to lead the state Military Department, Maj. Gen. David S. Baldwin.

Baldwin's duties include leading the troubled California National Guard. A Bee investigation has detailed financial and management problems within the Guard, including evidence of "double dipping" and fraudulent bonuses and student loan repayments.

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg acknowledged that the appointment had been controversial, in part due to the department's history, but said Baldwin "has committed to address the years of wrongdoing and try to change the culture within the department." Steinberg said that after discussions and a lengthy Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing, he is "hopeful and confident" that Baldwin is "up to the job."

Baldwin's critics argued during that hearing that he had not done enough to respond to complaints of discrimination against female or minority Guard members. Steinberg said the Senate's inquiries into the allegations found that Baldwin was not personally involved and has pledged to work to fix the problems.

– Bee Capitol Bureau

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