Capitol Alert

Second commissioner resigns from California's political watchdog agency

Jodie Remke, second from left, former chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, listens to a discussion on Aug. 17, 2017, in Sacramento. Other commission members seen are, from left, Brian Hatch, Allison Hayward, third from left, and Maria Audero, right. Remke and Audero resigned from the commission in 2018.
Jodie Remke, second from left, former chair of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, listens to a discussion on Aug. 17, 2017, in Sacramento. Other commission members seen are, from left, Brian Hatch, Allison Hayward, third from left, and Maria Audero, right. Remke and Audero resigned from the commission in 2018. Associated Press

A second member of the California Fair Political Practices Commission has resigned from the political watchdog agency.

Commissioner Maria Audero, a Los Angeles employment law attorney, left the agency more than seven months before the conclusion of her term to assume a new role as a U.S. magistrate judge for the Central District of California.

"Though it saddens me that this appointment precludes me from completing my term as commissioner, I look forward to this new path of public service," Audero wrote in a resignation letter sent to Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday.

Brown appointed Audero to the FPPC in 2015.

Audero relinquished her post one week after former FPPC Chair Jodi Remke, another Brown appointee, officially stepped down days before the primary election. At the time, Remke said she had accepted a new role as a presiding administrative law judge for appellate operations for the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.

The commission finalized a new power structure that reduced the chair's leadership role and created two standing committees with more control over the agency's decisions early last week. Remke, who publicly sparred with Audero and Commissioner Brian Hatch during meetings, opposed the changes and left days before the vote.

The departures leave the governor with two slots to fill on the commission before his tenure at the Capitol ends later this year. California's secretary of state, attorney general and controller were responsible for appointing the three existing commissioners.

The FPPC oversees and enforces laws and regulations related to campaign finance, conflicts of interest, lobbying and governmental ethics.

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