The head of California's campaign watchdog agency resigned her position on Tuesday.
Jodi Remke, who Gov. Jerry Brown appointed in 2014, stepped down as the chair of the Fair Political Practices Commission amid ongoing turmoil.
She often verbally sparred at public meetings with other commissioners, who were leading an effort to reduce her leadership role. The five-member commission was expected to vote next week to finalize a new power structure.
"And although I remained concerned with the proposed changes to the Commission's longstanding governance structure, I'm confident that during this busy election cycle staff will continue to build on the significant progress we have made in advancing governmental integrity and the public's trust in government," Remke wrote in her resignation letter to Brown.
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The resignation also falls one week before Election Day, a period which typically draws dozens of campaign ethics complaints to the agency. Remke's term on the commission was set to expire early next year. The commission oversees and enforces laws and regulations related to campaign finance, conflicts of interest, lobbying, and governmental ethics.
It's unclear if her departure will have any effect on the election cycle. Critics often complain that the FPPC's investigative process takes months - in some cases years - and the agency rarely admonishes bad actors before voters hit the ballot box.
"Staff is used to and is prepared for the normal process of changes in the Commission as there are always new commissioners and chair every two to four years," said Jay Wierenga, a spokesman for the FPPC.
But Dan Schnur, a one-time FPPC chair and professor at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, said the timing of Remke's resignation shows she is "continuing to marginalize the commission's role in the eyes of the political community."
"Stepping aside in the last days before an election is in keeping with a very minimalist approach to the job that she’s displayed ever since she was first named chair," Schnur said.
Remke took over the commission after former chair Ann Ravel, known for landing high-profile cases, left early to join the Federal Election Commission in 2013. Remke focused her efforts on modernizing the agency's systems, streamlining the Political Reform Act and crafting new regulations.
She touted the FPPC's achievements during her tenure and thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve in her resignation later.
Wierenga said Remke accepted a new position as the presiding administrative law judge for appellate operations for the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.
"While various issues have played out publicly, the chair’s resignation letter speaks for itself," Wierenga said. "As Chair Remke was previously the presiding judge of the State Bar Court, she feels this is the right job at the right time for her and she looks forward to continuing her public service for the people of California."
Friday is Remke's last day on the job.