State Prison Chief Named
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) on Wednesday appointed James Tilton as chief of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Los Angeles Times reports. Tilton, who previously served as a program budget manager at the Department of Finance, has been acting chief of the department since April (Warren, Los Angeles Times, 9/14).
Tilton is the third chief appointed this year to lead the prison system, which "is suffering from severe overcrowding and faces judicial oversight on several fronts, including inmate health care," according to the San Francisco Chronicle (Martin, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14).
A federal judge earlier this year placed the state prison health care system into receivership, and a special master oversees mental health care at the prisons under the supervision of another federal judge (Los Angeles Times, 9/14). According to the AP/San Jose Mercury News, Tilton, as acting chief, had promised to work closely with the federally appointed prison health care receiver Robert Sillen (AP/San Jose Mercury News, 9/13).
Compensation for the position was increased by nearly 70% to $225,000 per year after Schwarzenegger signed legislation on Wednesday that allowed him to increase salaries of gubernatorial appointees (Los Angeles Times, 9/14).
The position requires Senate confirmation, which is expected (Zapler, Contra Costa Times, 9/14).