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Paul Lawrence nominated as Under Secretary for Benefits, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Feb. 23, 2018: Paul R. Lawrence was nominated as the Under Secretary for Benefits at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Lawrence, of Virginia, has worked on management issues involving federal government agencies for more than thirty years. He is currently a public sector vice president at Kaiser Associates. Before he joined Kaiser, Lawrence was a partner at Ernst and Young; a vice president at Accenture; an Executive Director at the MITRE Corporation; a Vice President at IBM Business Consulting Services; and a partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has researched and written extensively on management and government. He is the co-author of “Succeeding as a Political Executive: 50 Insights from Experience;” “What Government Does: How Political Executives Manage;” and “Paths to Making a Difference: Leading in Government.” Lawrence is the co-editor of “Transforming Organizations and Learning the Ropes: Insights for Political Appointees.” He has testified before Congress and several state legislatures. He is on the Board of Advisers to the Economic Program at the University of Massachusetts, and he has been on the Board of Advisers of the Thomas Jefferson Public Policy Program at The College of William and Mary. Lawrence received his master of arts degree and Ph.D. in economics from Virginia Tech, and he received his bachelor of arts degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Lawrence was also previously in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of Captain. He graduated from the Army's Airborne School and he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.

California State Sen. Tony Mendoza, Artesia Democrat, resigns amid allegations of sexual harassment

Feb. 23, 2018: California State Sen. Tony Mendoza, Artesia Democrat, resigned from office yesterday, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, just as his colleagues considered an unprecedented vote to expel him in the wake of the findings of a two-month investigation that concluded that Mendoza “more likely than not” engaged in unwanted advances and sexually-suggested behavior toward six women, including four subordinates, during the last decade. State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon drafted Senate Resolution 85, which cited the house’s zero-tolerance sexual harassment policy, and the results of the investigation, as grounds to expel Mendoza, for a vote on the floor Thursday, Feb. 22, after Republicans and Democrats met privately to discuss the action against Mendoza. As the closed-door meetings dragged on, Mendoza resigned. “I shall resign my position as Senator with immediate effect as it is clear that Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon will not rest until he has my head on a platter to convince the Me Too Movement of his ‘sincerity’ in supporting the Me Too cause,” Mendoza wrote in a resignation letter he sent his colleagues on Thursday. The Sacramento Bee reported sexual misconduct and harassment allegations against Mendoza in the fall of 2017 involving three former employees during the last ten years. The Senate responded by hiring two law firms, Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher and Van Dermyden Maddux, to investigate the allegations against Mendoza and all future complaints involving legislators and staff members, which were previously handled by employees of the Senate Rules Committee. The investigation, which wrapped up last week, the week of Feb. 11-17, 2018, concluded that Mendoza “more likely than not” engaged in “unwanted flirtatious or sexually suggestive behavior” toward six women since 2007.

George Arlotto re-hired as Anne Arundel County, Md., Public Schools System Superintendent

Feb. 23, 2018: Anne Arundel County, Md., Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto has been re-hired to a second four-year term by the county’s Board of Education. The 2017-2018 school year marks Arlotto's 31st year in education. He has worked for Anne Arundel County Public Schools since 2006. Before he was named Superintendent on July 1, 2014, Arlotto held several posts, including Director of High Schools; Chief School Performance Officer; Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and School Performance; Associate Superintendent; and Chief of Staff. "I think we have the best Superintendent in the state, and I'm glad he's coming back," Board President Julie Hummer said. Arlotto's current contract ends on June 30, 2018.

David Ash appointed Deputy State's Attorney, Anne Arundel County, Md., State's Attorney's Office

Feb. 23, 2018: David P. Ash has been appointed as the Deputy State’s Attorney at the Anne Arundel County, Md., State’s Attorney’s Office. Ash succeeds Jonathon Church. Wes Adams is the State’s Attorney for the Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office.

U.S. Navy Command Master Chief Karl M. Parsons assigned as Command Senior Enlisted Leader, Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa

Feb. 23, 2018: U.S. Navy Command Master Chief Karl M. Parsons was assigned as the Command Senior Enlisted Leader for the Combined Joint Task Force, Horn of Africa at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Parsons succeeds U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sgt. Benjamin J. Higginbotham. Parsons was most recently the Command Master Chief of Strike Fighter Squadron Eight, Carrier Strike Group Two, at the Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia.

Tricia Pridemore appointed as Member, Georgia Public Service Commission

Feb. 23, 2018: Tricia Pridemore was appointed as a Member of the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) by Gov. Nathan Deal on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018. Pridmore succeeds PSC Chairman Stan Wise, who resigned. Pridemore was appointed to fill the rest of Wise’s term, and she will represent the PSC Fifth District. Pridemore’s appointment was effective on Feb. 21, 2018. Pridemore is a businessman with experience in technology, consuling and workforce development. She is a co-founder of Accucast, a software company. She was previously the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Development. She was previously a Member of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority Board of Governors and the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority. Pridemore received a bachelor’s degree from Kennesaw State University.

Robert Weaver withdraws from nomination as Director, Indian Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Feb. 23, 2018: Robert Weaver has withdrawn from his nomination as the Director of the Indian Health Service at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The move by Weaver, an insurance broker, occurred after The Wall Street Journal published two articles earlier this year, 2018, in which former colleagues alleged that Weaver had in some cases exaggerated his work experience and left a former employer in financial disarray. Weaver is a member of the Quapaw tribe of Oklahoma. The Indian Health Service, a branch of HHS, provides care for about 2.2 million American Indians and Alaska Natives in thirty-six states. The agency, which is tasked with providing health services to some of the country’s most rural regions, has long been plagued by financial and leadership troubles.