Michael V. Franchetti, a former state Finance Department director and chief deputy attorney general, died of an apparent heart attack after jogging near his Palm Desert home. He was 64.
“Mike’s record is one of integrity and of commitment to California. He was a distinguished public servant and a solid citizen–and one who has left us too soon,” Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said.
A conservative Republican, Franchetti served under Gov. George Deukmejian–first when Deukmejian was attorney general and then when Deukmejian was elected governor in 1982. Franchetti was considered one of the governor’s closest aides.
“During the 37 years that I knew him, Mike Franchetti was a highly talented, very personable and a genuinely fine human being,” Deukmejian said in a prepared statement. “I greatly appreciated his effective assistance and friendship.”
Franchetti, whose grandparents had emigrated from Italy, was born in Oakland on November 28, 1942, and grew up in Redding until going to college at the University of San Francisco, where he completed his undergraduate studies in 1964 and received his law degree in 1967. He later served as an attorney with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, and received the Bronze Star.
Franchetti entered state service in 1969 as a deputy attorney general, and served as legislative advocate for the attorney general’s office, getting his first exposure to the political process at the state level. In 1978, Deukmejian named Franchetti chief deputy attorney general.
When Deukmejian was elected governor, he named Franchetti director of finance.
In 1984, Mr. Franchetti left state government to practice law, lobby and consult, which he had been doing in Sacramento, San Francisco and Palm Desert at the time of his death.
He is survived by his wife, Peg; children, Christina Franchetti of Seattle, Wash., and Victor Franchetti of Redding; and sister, Victoria Haynes. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to the Salvation Army.