The State Worker

Law professor chosen to take over California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Gov. Jerry Brown makes an opening statement at a meeting of the Western Governors' Association on Nov. 13, 2014.
Gov. Jerry Brown makes an opening statement at a meeting of the Western Governors' Association on Nov. 13, 2014. AP

Gov. Jerry Brown has tapped attorney Kevin Kish to lead the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, filling a vacancy atop an agency under scrutiny for its own employment record.

An adjunct law professor at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles and director of Bet Tzedek Legal Services’ employment law project, Kish would assume leadership of an agency beset by allegations of inappropriate hiring and promotion practices. The Senate would need to confirm Kish’s appointment to the post, which carries an annual salary of $150,198.

The department polices claims of discrimination in workplaces and housing. An investigation by the State Personnel Board warned about employment rules being “willfully ignored or disregarded” by agency staff and found incomplete record-keeping. Spurring the investigation was the case of a woman being twice promoted despite lacking qualifications.

Former director Phyllis Cheng left the agency in October. Kish would take her spot.

Also appointed to the agency’s leadership was Joan Keegan, whom Brown selected to be chief deputy director. Keegan has government experience, having formerly worked as a deputy director at the California Department of Technology Services and in various capacities for the California Franchise Tax Board.

Call Jeremy B. White, Bee Capitol Bureau, (916) 326-5543.

  Comments