Staff turnover rocks office of Assembly Member Rudy Salas

The Bakersfield CalifornianApril 21, 2014 

Rudy Salas


An unusual amount of staff turnover has occurred in the office of Assembly Member Rudy Salas, a Democrat from Bakersfield who represents parts of Kern and Kings counties.

The latest departures occurred last week when two employees resigned.

Salas' district coordinator, Willie Rivera, a Bakersfield City Council member who represents the southeast, left April 15 to start a new position in Bakersfield the following day with the Corporation for Better Housing.

Salas' senior field representative, Elva Lopez Martinez, left on April 16.

They join at least three other staffers who have left Salas' office since voters elected the former Bakersfield City Council member in November 2012.

Two are part-time field representative April Hernandez and full-time scheduler Veronica Alarcon, according to Jon Waldie, chief administrative officer for the state Assembly. Their exact dates of employment were unavailable.

The third was Chris Chamberlain, Salas' former district director, who worked for Salas from his swearing-in in December 2012 to October 2013, when he resigned to pursue a teaching career.

Chamberlain declined to discuss his time with Salas or to comment on recent turnover at the Assembly office, and said he had signed a non-disclosure form when he left.

Salas' press aide, Jillian Rice, also declined to discuss the recent departures.

"Unfortunately, we're not really -- since it's a personnel matter -- we're not really allowed to discuss that," Rice said.

Rivera described his parting with Salas as amicable, and said while politics "can take a great toll on someone and I think if you've been doing it for many, many years, the promise of something that might enable you to enjoy a Saturday or a Sunday is appealing," staffers know they're not signing up for a 9-to-5 job.

Candi Easter, chairwoman of the Kern County Democratic Central Committee, said she was "completely stunned" by the news of turnover.

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