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Qualifications, Schmualifications: CA Gov Appoints High School Classmate to WCAB

July 13, 2018 by Catherine Montgomery

California Governor Jerry Brown recently appointed former chorus director Juan Pedro Gaffney to the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (WCAB).

Gaffney was a classmate of Governor Brown’s at St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco.

A veteran of the San Francisco choir scene, 80-year-old Gaffney brings to the WCAB a lifetime of experience in music education. However, Gaffney is not without regulatory credentials; he served a yearlong stint with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) department.

Qualifications for the Job

As stated on the California Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) website, the WCAB’s main functions include:

...review of petitions for reconsideration of decisions by workers' compensation administrative law judges of the Division of Workers' Compensation and regulation of the adjudication process by adopting rules of practice and procedure.

As stated on the website of Gaffney’s current employer, the Coro Hispano de San Francisco, Gaffney’s main functions include:

...teaching and performing the choral music of Latin America, Spain and Portugal for the past 35 years.  

According to his LinkedIn page, Gaffney attained a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California, a Bachelor of Arts in Music from the University of California, and a Master of Arts in Music from Stanford University.

Gaffney has directed the Coro Hispano de San Francisco since 1975, and has a host of accomplishments in the liturgical arts. As reported by workcompcentral, Gaffney served under the ABC starting in 2017, as part of a panel that helped review licensing decisions. Gaffney is not an attorney. However, the law requires only five members of the WCAB to be attorneys.

Gaffney will fill one of three current vacancies on the WCAB, at a yearly salary of $147,778 — a $122,278 increase from his salary at the ABC.


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