FPPC names new Executive Director

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            

July 24, 2020


For More Information Contact:

Jay Wierenga (916) 322-7761

.pdf version of news release      

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), California’s governmental ethics and campaign disclosure agency, today announced the appointment of Galena West as the Commission’s Executive Director.

West spent the past five years as Chief of the Enforcement Division, taking over the role in 2015. Prior to that, she spent ten years as Senior Commission counsel in the Enforcement Division, including holding the second ranking position in the Division in the years leading up to her promotion to Chief of enforcement. She has prosecuted some of the most serious violations of the Political Reform Act, ranging from campaign money laundering to conflicts of interest to shadow lobbying. Her expertise has been invaluable in many high profile cases, including prosecuting a lobbying case involving a well-known Sacramento-based lobbying firm, a cluster of cases involving virtually the entire city of Oxnard in coordination with the Ventura County District Attorney’s office, and the arbitration and settlement of a civil case for campaign violations by the Democratic National Committee.

Previous to her extensive work in the Enforcement Division, West served three years in the FPPC’s Legal Division. Prior to the FPPC, West worked as a law clerk for the Legal Division of the California Franchise Tax Board, the California Attorney General's Office, Appeals, Writs & Trials Division, and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Civil Division.

“I’m extremely pleased to announce Ms. West’s appointment to this important role,” said FPPC Chair Richard C. Miadich. “Galena’s extensive experience in both the Legal and Enforcement Divisions of the FPPC are invaluable in moving us forward in our goals of providing more transparency and service to the public. Her professionalism daily demonstrates the values of fairness and transparency, and her knowledge and skills will help guide the Commission to further the interests of Californians.”

West has been instrumental in strengthening the Enforcement Division’s program to streamline minor cases, allowing these lesser offenses to be resolved more effectively and efficiently. She also oversaw the implementation of a new case management system, which now enables Enforcement to quickly and thoroughly deliver investigative results, prescribe appropriate penalties to violators, and better monitor overall case processing.

“Galena’s knowledge of the Act and her unparalleled experience overseeing many of the most challenging cases demonstrates her commitment to promoting the public’s trust in the political process through tough but fair enforcement of serious violations”, added Chair Miadich.  “I’m confident in her new role she will help reinforce California’s role as a national leader in the regulation of governmental ethics.”

West received her law degree from the University of California, Davis, King Hall School of Law, and her undergraduate degree in International Business from California State University, Sacramento.  As part of her undergraduate studies, she spent a year studying International Business/European Community Law at Middlesex University in London, England.

West will continue leading the Enforcement Division through the general election. The Commission has developed a plan for delegating authority in the meantime, with a new Chief of Enforcement to be named by the Commission in the coming months.

Enforcement Chief and Executive Director Dual Roles; Duties to be Delegated

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

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