Monday, November 24, 2008
Governor Appoints Two Former Prosecutors to Head DCSS
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday announced the appointments of two former prosecutors to head the state’s Department of Child Support Services.
The governor named Orange County Department of Child Support Services Director Jan Sturla as director of the state department, and Sierra Nevada Regional Department of Child Support Services Director Kathleen Hrepich as deputy director and chief counsel.
Both appointments are effective Jan. 1, but Sturla’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.
The department and the local child support agencies that it oversees establish, collect and distribute child support for California children, as well as establish spousal and medical support and determine paternity. Its mission is to “promote the well-being of children and the self-sufficiency of families by assisting both parents to meet the financial, medical and emotional needs of their children.”
Sturla, 62, has served in his current position since 1999, where he has been responsible for the executive management of approximately 100,000 child support cases, 630 employees and an annual budget of $55 million.
A resident of San Clemente and a Republican, he was admitted to the State Bar in 1976, and attended college at California State University, Fullerton, and law school at Pepperdine University.
He previously worked for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office from 1992 to 1999, where he served as supervising deputy district attorney for the family support division and trial attorney for a number of divisions including felony trials, sexual assault and child abuse, homicide and consumer and environmental protection units.
Schwarzenegger praised Sturla’s “strong record of leadership on child support issues at both the state and local level,” and said that his “focus on program performance and his record in statewide leadership on behalf of county child support programs makes him well-suited to lead the department.”
Sturla said he was “honored to have been chosen by Governor Schwarzenegger to direct this important work,” remarking that the state child support program “represents a very important lifeline for over a million children and families in California.”
Compensation for the director position is $142,965.
Hrepich, 62, has served in her current position since 2000, and was admitted to the State Bar in 1981 after graduating from Lincoln Law School in Sacramento.
A Democrat from Grass Valley, she served as director of family support for the California District Attorneys Association for five years before becoming chief deputy district attorney for the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office in 1999.
Schwarzenegger said that Hrepich’s “vast experience in child support issues” made her the “best candidate for this position,” adding that he knew that “she will do a great job for California’s children and families.”
Hrepich said that she, too, was honored by the appointment, and that she looked forward to working with Sturla and to “serving the children of California.”
Compensation for the deputy director and chief counsel position is $139,536.
The governor on Friday also appointed current DCSS Director David Maxwell-Jolly as director of the state’s Department of Health Care Services, subject to Senate confirmation and effective Jan. 1, and thanked Maxwell-Jolly for his role in implementing California’s first statewide child support automated system.
“His leadership in the project has resulted in an end to costly federal penalties and the successful launch of a program that will help ensure that millions of California children will get the support they need,” Schwarzenegger said.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company