California FPPC Chief of Enforcement Demoted Without a Peep: What Led Up to Demotion?

FPPC chief’s relationship with CDPH deputy director and chief counsel

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July 27, 2023, a press release was issued by the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) naming the new Chief of Enforcement.

“The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) today announced the appointment of James M. Lindsay as Chief of Enforcement.

Lindsay comes to the FPPC from the California Children and Families Commission (CCFC), where he served as Chief Counsel since August of 2022. In this position, Lindsay advised the Commission, Executive Director, and staff on all legal matters, including Political Reform Act and Bagley-Keene Act compliance and training, as well as being responsible for leadership, litigation, and mentoring responsibilities. Prior to that, Lindsay spent almost four years as the lead litigation attorney at the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS). There, he had primary responsibility for administrative hearing matters, writs and appeals, and helped lead efforts to improve litigation practices and organizational improvements.

“I’m extremely pleased to announce Mr. Lindsay’s appointment to this important role in the agency,” said FPPC Chair Richard C. Miadich. “We’re thrilled to have someone with extensive litigation experience to lead our Enforcement team. Mr. Lindsay’s experience in government policy and operations will greatly help our ongoing efforts to promote the public’s trust and maintain our leading National role in the realm of government ethics and campaign finance.”

In addition to his roles at CCFC and CalSTRS, Lindsay spent more than 20 years in the private sector at law firms in Folsom, Modesto, and Dublin/Stockton where he specialized in numerous aspects of consumer, insurance, business, real estate, personal injury, and family law. Lindsay received his law degree from Tulane University School of Law in New Orleans, LA and his undergraduate degree in Economics from California State University, Fresno.

“We have a dedicated, professional and experienced staff and we are confident James’ breadth of experience in other aspects of California’s political and legal climate will only improve and enhance the Division’s overall capabilities,” said Chair Miadich.

Assistant Enforcement Division Chief Chris Burton will remain acting chief until August 28, 2023.

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) is California’s governmental ethics and campaign disclosure agency.”

Per an email from Ms. Tara Stock, Intake Manager, Enforcement Division, Ms. Angela J. Brereton, Former Chief of Enforcement has been reassigned as Assistant Chief of the Enforcement Division.

Information regarding Ms. Brereton’s reassignment remains unclear. However, Executive Staff Reports from the January 26, 2023 Commission Hearing highlight negligence in duties.

According to deed records for the County of Sacramento, Ms. Brereton shares a mortgage with Mr. Hugh A. Brereton.

A class of 2000 announcement by UC Davis School of Law further confirms the relationship between these two individuals.A press release issued by Governor Newsom’s Office in February 2020 stated the following:

“Hugh “Drew” Brereton, 44, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director and chief counsel of the California Department of Public Health. Brereton has served as deputy director and chief counsel for the Office of Enforcement at the Department of Managed Health Care since 2016, where he was assistant chief counsel from 2014 to 2016 and an attorney III from 2008 to 2014. Brereton was an attorney at Katchis, Harris and Yempuku from 2002 to 2008 and at Pagliero & Associates from 2001 to 2002. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Davis, School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $195,168. Brereton is a Democrat.”

Although I currently have approximately a dozen cases open with the FPPC, Ms. Brereton has continually denied sworn complaints regarding violations of the Political Reform Act surrounding public health.

I previously reported to the FPPC that State Treasurer Fiona Ma is personally invested in pharmaceutical companies as detailed on her statement of economic interest, received donations from Pfizer and established a statewide pooled money investment account with the aforementioned entity. Why did Ms. Brereton deny this is a conflict of interest, and does her spouse’s position with the CDPH present bias?

My article in The California Globe further elaborates on these concerns: Health or Heredity? COVID-19 Vaccines & California’s History of Eugenics:

“According to the California State Treasurer’s website, “through the Pooled Money Investment Account (PMIA), the State Treasurer invests taxpayers’ money to manage the State’s cash flow and strengthen the financial security of local governmental entities. PMIA policy sets as primary investment objectives safety, liquidity and yield. The PMIA has three primary sources of funds: the State general fund; special funds held by State agencies; and monies deposited by cities, counties and other entities into the Local Agency Investment Fund (LAIF).”

“As a part of the 2023 investment portfolio, the State Treasurer’s Office has included Johnson & Johnson for both corporate bonds and commercial paper. The public at large may consider this to be a conflict of interest given that State Treasurer Fiona Ma possesses a personal investment in the pharmaceutical giant. Treasurer Ma’s spouse also holds a retirement account with Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) Financial Group. On February 16, 2023, SVB Securities held a Global Biopharma Conference in conjunction with Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and an array of other pharmaceutical corporations. Due to the recent SVB collapse and uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics, California residents may seek deeper answers into the true origins and legitimacy behind the bank failure. The lack of transparency from the Biden and Newsom Administration leaves the people with unrest.”


  1. Kay Graves says

    The FPPC is just another enforcers tool to go after people who stand up to the State while hiding what the State’s buddies are up to.
    I can see why they want them.

    In Trinity County, the FPPC has repeatedly broken the law and their own rules while they keep a former Board of Supervisor under their open BS complaint for years. Four years and counting….
    Another Trinity County BOS Supervisor had his legit complaint returned in weeks with an ‘all’s clear’.
    The LOL! problem is that not only did the FPPC NOT investigate…In their Copy & Paste reply; the PFFC forgot to remove all the names off their template and to replace it with Supervisor Groves name.
    {BTW: the other person was a City Counsel Member within the State. }

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