Ross Johnson resigns as FPPC chairman

State political watchdog Ross Johnson, the chairman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, announced Wednesday that he was retiring because of health reasons.

Johnson, 70, a former Republican leader of both the Senate and Assembly who came to Sacramento in 1978, has been viewed as an aggressive enforcer of the state’s political finance laws.

His resignation takes effect April 30. Johnson announced his departure in a letter to the governor and did not give details of his health issues. His letter can be seen here.

Gov. Schwarzenegger, who appointed Johnson to the commission, may choose a person to complete Johnson’s term, which ends Jan. 31, 2011. Since the governor’s other appointee on the five-member commission is a Democrat, whoever is chosen as the interim chair of the commission must be registered with another party or as an independent.

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