18. Ann Patterson
Newsom’s chief deputy legal affairs secretary is Ann Patterson, who works with Catherine Lhamon (No. 9) and fellow deputy Kelli Evans. Patterson’s gig has been almost 24-7 dealing with one of the administration’s top priorities: the state’s negotiations with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. PG&E, the huge investor-owned utility, has drawn widespread criticism – and a $1.9 billion fine – stemming from the deadly wildfires in 2017 and 2018. Typically, the deputy legal affairs secretary has a more multifaceted portfolio, but the scope of PG&E’s issues have claimed Patterson’s focus. That’s not surprising, given the public attention targeting PG&E, including demands for a breakup or a public takeover, worries about the utility’s solvency and Wall Street’s concerns about investments. Before coming to the administration, Patterson, a graduate of the McGeorge School of Law, was a partner at Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, where she was a co-leader of the public policy unit.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020