Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown adviser joins Sacramento lobbying firm

Gov. Jerry Brown and Gareth Elliott, his outgoing legislative affairs secretary, pore over bills on Aug. 15, 2013.
Gov. Jerry Brown and Gareth Elliott, his outgoing legislative affairs secretary, pore over bills on Aug. 15, 2013. AP

A senior adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown is leaving the governor’s office to become a lobbyist with the Sacramento Advocates firm that represents corporate giants including Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Kraft Foods.

Gareth Elliott, whom Brown recently appointed to the University of California governing board, has been the governor’s legislative affairs secretary since 2011. His departure marks the first major change in the governor’s staffing since Brown was sworn in for his fourth term on Monday, and caused a ripple effect of staff changes inside the executive office. Camille Wagner has been promoted to fill Elliott’s position and will earn an annual salary of $140,004.

“Gareth has provided wise counsel and invaluable advice for the past four years, and he will continue to ably serve Californians in his new role on the Board of Regents,” Brown said in a statement Wednesday. “Camille is a trusted advisor and will step into this new role without missing a beat.”

Elliott, 44, will become a partner with the lobbying firm run by Barry Brokaw and Donne Brownsey. Sacramento Advocates is a mid-size lobbying shop that billed about $1.7 million last year. Its clients include a mix of corporations, health care companies, trade associations and one gambling tribe. Among them: Kaiser, Planned Parenthood and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

Brokaw did not specify which clients Elliott will represent but said he expects him “to do a wonderful job representing our clients and providing good advice.”

“He’s a consummate professional. He’s got great integrity and is widely respected and liked,” Brokaw said. “We are just really thrilled that he will be joining us.”

Under California’s revolving-door law, Elliott cannot lobby the governor’s office for a year after his departure but can immediately lobby other branches of government. His career includes stints with two former state senators who have since left the Legislature: Alex Padilla and Don Perata.

Other staff changes Brown announced Wednesday include:

Donna Campbell, 55, becomes deputy legislative affairs secretary, moving over from the California Health and Human Services Agency. Salary: $138,108.

Bob Franzoia, 62, becomes chief deputy appointments secretary, following decades of service in the state Senate. Salary: $125,016.

Michael R. O. Martinez, 37, becomes deputy legislative affairs secretary, after previously serving as deputy appointments secretary. Salary: $123,204.

Lark Park, 45, becomes senior advisor for policy after previously serving as deputy legislative affairs secretary. Salary: $140,004.

Veronica Ortiz-Torres, 51, becomes deputy appointments secretary, a position she also held in 2011 and 2012. Salary: $111,420.

Call Laurel Rosenhall, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 321-1083. Follow her on Twitter @LaurelRosenhall.