California Gov. Jerry Brown got a long-time a six-figure job at a government agency despite not exactly having the experience for the role, the friend admitted.
Juan Pedro Gaffney, a former Bay Area choir director, admitted his friendship with the outgoing governor landed him the job at the state Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board, a position populated mostly by lawyers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
“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 asked whether his friendship with Brown got him the job.
Gaffney attended St. Ignatius High School in San Francisco with Brown. He said that he knows that “that “people who have served long in the field look with raised eyebrows” over his appointment to the board.
The job involves deciding whether people who they claim they were injured in the workplace should receive workers’ compensation. The board meets once a week to decide which cases to divide between themselves. All members of the board are paid $147,778-a-year during their six-year term.
“I did not understand this to be a plum. I did not go after it as a plum,” Gaffney continued. “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 or at least that this appointment passed them by. I am aware of that. What can I say? I’m sensitive to it. I realize it’s a legitimate sentiment, a legitimate reaction.”