California’s Worker’s Compensation Appeal Board has a new member, and he’s an old friend of California Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, Juan Pedro Gaffney has spent his career leading a church choir and assisting “social action and politics,” but that didn’t stop Brown from appointing him to the $147,778 government job.
What’s more, Gaffney admits his friendship with the governor got him the job.
“What shall I do? Should I not plead guilty? Yeah, I’m a friend of Jerry’s. We go way back. Jerry knew me when I was active in social action and politics. He didn’t forget that part of me,” Gaffney said when queried about how he got the appointment, according to Fox News.
Gaffney and Brown go a long way back, with both attending San Francisco’s St. Ignatius High School together. Brown appointed him to the position in June with the state Senate approving it in August. Gaffney won’t be overly taxed with his new responsibilities as the compensation board only meets once a week.
But Gaffney insists the new position is not a “plum” and it will mean “hard work” for him.
“I did not go after it as a plum,” Gaffney told the Chronicle. “To me, it is hard work and I am glad to do the hard work, but others have given me to understand that they were passed by to accommodate this appointment.”
Brown’s office cited Gaffney’s “diverse background” as a clear reason for appointing Gaffney.
“Workers and businesses across California depend on a fair and effective workers’ compensation system, and the board — and state — will certainly benefit from Mr. Gaffney’s diverse background and experience,” Brian Ferguson, the governor’s spokesman, told the Chronicle.