No. 2 at California Toxic Substances Control Department Resigns

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Odette Madriago, the chief deputy director of the Department of Toxic Subtances Control has resigned from her post to take a lower-level job at the agency before she retires at end of the year.

Madriago's decision to leave came after the non-profit Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission that she had a financial stake in some companies that the department regulates. The group has also published a report that accused Madriago of blunting state regulatory efforts.

Toxic substances spokeswoman Tamma Adamek declined to comment, but released an email sent to employees last Friday by department Director Debbie Raphael that says that Madriago will work on a special project until she retires at the end of this year.

Last year Madriago earned $112,090, according to state payroll records. She will move down to her last position, supervising engineer II. Adamek did not know how much that job will pay.

Here's the email:

From: "Raphael, Debbie@DTSC"
Date: May 10, 2013 4:40:51 PM PDT
Subject: Transitions

Dear Colleagues,
It is with great sadness that I write this email to all of you. For the past two years, I have worked closely with Odette Madriago, depending on her to carry the very heavy weight of many critical issues. She is a dedicated and highly professional member of the Department and I have relied on her expertise and knowledge to advance the mission of DTSC.

Odette has just informed me that she is planning to retire from the Department at the end of the year. After much thought, and in acknowledgment of the critical role that a Chief Deputy Director plays in the work I have ahead of me during my tenure with the Department, Odette has agreed to relinquish her role as Chief Deputy Director. Instead she will focus her remaining time in the department on completing the Safer Consumer Product Regulations to ensure that we meet our deadline to submit the regulatory package to OAL. This change will allow us to use her expertise to complete this critical phase of the program, and meet her goal of retiring at the end of the year.

I will be out of the office next week and I have asked Reed Sato, Chief Counsel, to serve as the Acting Director in my absence. Upon my return I will begin the search for a new Chief Deputy. Whoever serves with me in that capacity will have big shoes to fill.

I am grateful for all I have learned from Odette these past two years and I know we all will wish her the best as she transitions into retirement.


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