Born: San Jose, CA., 1957. My father is an artist and retired teacher and coach, my mother was a nurse and a voracious reader. My first real job after graduating high school in 1975, was working on an ambulance based in Lone Pine California. This decade saw a national transition from “scoop and run” ambulance services that at their best provided basic first aid and at worst were taxis with red lights and a siren. At the time the State of California required that private ambulance attendants have their Emergency Medical Technician certification, but the driver only needed basic first aid and a DMV Ambulance Drivers License. Smaller mostly volunteer fire departments were even allowed to have these requirements waived. Eventually the company I worked for decided that in the Eastern Kern County area they could make more money if they had paramedics so I was offered the opportunity to attend paramedic training at Danial Freeman Hospital in the Los Angeles area. Altogether the program lasted about 6 months including classroom, hospital clinical and internship on a LACFD squad and another 2 months on a paramedic rig in Bakersfield. When I finished I became the first paramedic to work in eastern Kern County and the 30th medic certified in all of Kern County. For the next few years, I worked in Ridgecrest, Mojave, Tehacapi, Lake Isabella, Bakersfield, and Taft. Being a paramedic was, by far, the most difficult and stressful job that I’ve ever had, but it was also one of the most rewarding. When I first started, the hours were long and the pay was minimal and even non-existent in some cases. While the pay improved when I worked for larger companies, the stress of repeatedly having someone’s life in your hands never lessened. I worked in EMS for about 8 years, before I got hired by the Kern County Sheriff’s Department in 1984. I started my career with the Sheriff in the academy, Field Training and then to the jail for 3 years. Besides working patrol, I was accepted on the Special Weapons and Tactics Team, SWAT medic, bicycle patrol, and field training officer. After I had been on the streets for about a year, I was forced to take the life of a young warrant suspect who was high on meth and who stabbed me several times while trying to prevent his arrest. After I recovered from my injuries, I was now painfully aware of how easily I could become killed or disabled, so I decided to search for alternative careers. I found the perfect opportunity in a recently opened night law program that would allow me to remain on patrol and take classes three nights a week for 4 years. Prophetically, 10 years after the stabbing and in my 3rd year of law school, I was shot by a 17 year old gang member while he was attempting to flee and break in to a residence. The weapon was a .410 derringer loaded with birdshot which destroyed much of the soft tissue in my neck, but left my spine, carotid artery and jugular vein intact. After I returned to work, I finished law school and transferred form the Sheriff’s Department to Kern County’s legal office, County Counsel. As a county attorney, I was initially assigned to provide advice and legal support for various county departments including the Sheriff, the DA, Community Development, Parks, the Children and Family Commission as well as many others. The last 5 years in County Counsel I worked as trial counsel for dependency hearings for the Department of Human Services Child Protective Services. In 2017, I retired from County Service and took an attorney position with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, Office of Legal Affairs, Employment Advocacy and Prosecution Team. I’m married to the women of my dreams and she and I have a couple of spoiled Golden Retrievers who graciously allow us to take care of them.


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