Crime - Sacto 911

Former Schwarzenegger adviser arrested in Citrus Heights prostitution sting

Dan Pellissier
Dan Pellissier Citrus Heights Police Department

The Citrus Heights Police Department arrested four suspected “johns” as part of a statewide prostitution sting last week, including a former adviser to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Dan Pellissier, 57, was arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute’s services, according to a news release the Police Department distributed Tuesday.

Pellissier oversaw the state’s Natural Resources and Environmental Protection agencies as Schwarzenegger’s deputy cabinet secretary for energy and environment from 2007 to 2011, per his biography on UC Berkeley’s Institute of Government Studies. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 1982 and served on the school’s National Advisory Council from 2011 to 2015.

After leaving the Governor’s Office, Pellissier became president of California Pension Reform, a group that pushes for ballot legislation to change how state agencies handle employees’ retirement funds.

The Sacramento resident previously served as chief of staff for the organization’s founder, Keith Richman, during Richman’s six-year stint in the state Assembly and advised Schwarzennegger on pension policy as well.

The fourth annual Reclaim and Rebuild Enforcement Operation, coordinated by the Los Angeles Regional Human Trafficking Task Force, netted hundreds of arrests throughout California. Citrus Heights police used the internet and undercover operations to arrest 10 people in total on suspicion of prostitution, probation violations and outstanding warrants, the news release said.

Others arrested on suspicion of soliciting prostitutes included 39-year-old Hamel Yan of Elk Grove, 19-year-old Darrick Chavis of Vacaville and 42-year-old Steven Birdsong of Antelope. None of them nor Pellissier were being held in Sacramento County jail as of Wednesday morning.

The enforcement effort focused on identifying and arresting pimps and the “johns” who seek the women’s services, the news release said.

Police encourage anyone who needs help, knows someone who needs help or suspects human trafficking may be occurring to call the Citrus Heights Police Department at 916-727-5500.

If you have information about any of these people, please call 800-222-7463 or 916-443-4357, or report online at

Benjy Egel: 916-321-1052, @BenjyEgel

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