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Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has rounded out his legal affairs team but still hasn’t said who will help him pick judges. To fill the final slots on his legal team, Schwarzenegger poached a third lawyer from Attorney General Bill Lockyer, former deputy AG David Verhey, who worked in the government law section. Schwarzenegger also tapped Tami Bogert of the California District Attorneys Association and Stephanie Shimazu, who was with the state Department of Social Services. Although Verhey will handle, among other duties, legal issues surrounding appointments, he is not the judicial appointments secretary, said a spokeswoman with Schwarzenegger’s office. That position remains open. Asked when the administration expects to fill it, the spokeswoman said the office does not comment on appointments before they’re announced. Previous administrations put more emphasis on the judicial appointments slot. In Gov. Pete Wilson’s first term, Terence Flanigan did all appointments, including judges. He was a holdover from Gov. George Deukmejian and was eventually replaced by another member of the appointments staff, Charles Poochigian, who is now a Fresno senator. In his second term, Wilson split judicial appointments from other appointment duties and assigned the task to John Davies within days of his Jan. 2, 1995, inauguration. Gov. Gray Davis also had someone in line immediately. Davis announced Burt Pines as he prepared to take office, and Pines began in the position on the Jan. 4, 1999, inauguration. Prior to Schwarzenegger’s Nov. 18 inauguration, another spokesman had said the governor expected to have a judicial secretary by the time he took office. The spokesman said Schwarzenegger had even interviewed at least one candidate for the job. Those comments followed speculation that Eric George, the son of Chief Justice Ronald George and a partner at Browne & Woods in Beverly Hills, would get the judicial appointments slot. George could not be reached for comment Thursday. Previously, he has declined to discuss the possibility of joining Schwarzenegger’s administration. There wouldn’t be a lot of work for a judicial appointments secretary right now anyway. Before Davis was ousted in the recall, he filled up the entire appellate bench and all but a handful of trial vacancies. Since Schwarzenegger took over, though, Daniel Kolkey of the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento and Charles Vogel, presiding justice of Division Four of the Second District, announced they are retiring. A total of 13 judges have entered the state retirement system since Schwarzenegger’s inauguration. Chief Justice George said he’s not concerned that Schwarzenegger doesn’t have anyone vetting judicial candidates yet. Governors usually don’t appoint judges during their first six months in office, George said. The new legal affairs team will work under Legal Affairs Secretary Peter Siggins and his chief deputy, Paul Dobson. Siggins was Lockyer’s No. 1 lawyer. Dobson was a special assistant AG who served as a special counselor to Siggins and his administrative counterpart, Steve Coony. Besides legal issues for appointments, Verhey will also work on questions relating to homeland security, state prisons and emergency services. He graduated from McGeorge School of Law. Bogert, who before going to the District Attorneys Association served as a member of Wilson’s legal team and was also with the AG’s office, will handle parole, clemency, rewards and some litigation. She attended Lincoln Law School. Shimazu will work on health care and social services. She went to the University of San Francisco School of Law and has also worked for the Legislative Counsel’s Office and the Department of Corrections.

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