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SACRAMENTO � Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Friday named Peter Siggins, his former legal secretary and recent chief of staff, to the First District Court of Appeal, Division Three. Siggins’ appointment came as little surprise � and with even less fanfare � after Schwarzenegger nominated First District Justice Carol Corrigan of the same division to the state Supreme Court on Friday morning. Siggins’ nomination was announced in a press release, and the governor’s press office declined to make him available for an interview. Siggins, 50, has been a high-profile figure in Schwarzenegger’s administration since leaving a 15-year career at the attorney general’s office in 2003. As the governor’s chief counsel, he helped negotiate gaming pacts with Indian tribes and defended the administration against intense criticism of the state prison system. Siggins also irritated Democrats this summer when they learned he knew of procedural problems with Proposition 77, the redistricting measure voters defeated Nov. 8, before the secretary of state approved the initiative for the ballot. But Schwarzenegger stood by Siggins, sending his name to the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission for a spot on the First District at the end of August and naming him interim chief of staff in September. Siggins sat with the governor during clemency hearings for Stanley “Tookie” Williams last week, according to media reports, and he stood at the side of the press room Friday as Schwarzenegger introduced Corrigan. Siggins, registered “decline to state,” has never served as a judge. Before coming to the state Department of Justice, Siggins practiced civil and maritime law in the Bay Area. He is a graduate of Hastings College of the Law. In a day filled with judicial appointments, Schwarzenegger on Friday also nominated Justice Ignazio Ruvolo as presiding justice of the First District, Division Four. Ruvolo, 58, has served as an associate justice in the First District’s Division Two since 1996. Before that, Ruvolo, a Republican, was a judge on the Contra Costa County Superior Court. Ruvolo fills the vacancy created when Justice Laurence Kay retired. The governor also named Judge Michael Sweet to the Sacramento County Superior Court on Friday. Sweet, a Republican, will move from his post in the neighboring Yolo County Superior Court, where he has served as judge since 1998. A former deputy legislative secretary for Gov. Pete Wilson in the mid-1990s, Sweet fills a vacancy created when Judge Kenneth Hake retired. On Thursday, Schwarzenegger named Douglas Sortino, 46, to the Los Angeles County Superior Court. Sortino, a Democrat, has been a prosecutor with the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office since 1994.

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