No. 18: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

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

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