Director of Consumer Affairs Steps Down on Eve of Hearing

Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) Director Awet Kidane plans to resign from his position at the end of February 2017 to purse a new opportunity, he told state employees in a message this week. Kidane has led a department that oversees more than 40 professional licensing boards, including ones that regulate medical cannabis, construction and nursing, since 2014. Kidane did not announce his new career opportunity. The department has not yet announced a succession plan.

“Over the years, we have had ups and downs, but I have always had faith in the department knowing that the work we do helps protect consumers every day. I owe my success as a director to a talented and dedicated team,” Mr. Kidane wrote.

The news of the resignation came as the Department of Consumer Affairs, and a number of its subordinate agencies, face a series of Joint Sunset Review Oversight Hearing by the Senate Committee on Business, Professions, and Economic Development and Assembly Committee on Business and Professions, led by Senator Jerry Hill and Assemblyperson Rudy Salas, respectively. Each year, these committees hold joint sunset review oversight hearings to review the boards and bureaus under the DCA. The DCA boards and bureaus are responsible for protecting consumers and the public and regulating the professionals they license. The sunset review process provides an opportunity for the DCA, the Legislature, the boards, and interested parties and stakeholders to discuss the performance of the boards, and make recommendations for improvements.

One matter to be considered at the next committee meeting is flawed computer system, in which he had a hand in implementing. Known as the BrEZe system, the project ultimately contributed to licensing delays for some of the boards managed by the department.