New Homeland Security Director Named in California

SACRAMENTO -- An official with the federal Department of Homeland Security was tapped to be Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's new anti-terror and disaster preparedness adviser.

Matthew Bettenhausen, 44, will direct the state's Office of Homeland Security.

He was the federal agency's director of state and territorial coordination since 2003, coordinating intelligence sharing and fund distribution.

Bettenhausen "truly understands that you cannot secure America from inside the Beltway and that partnerships with states and cities are absolutely critical to our national effort to protect America," said Tom Ridge, the former federal homeland security secretary, in a statement. "He gets it, and California gets an exceptional public servant."

Schwarzenegger's first homeland security director, Ronald Iden, resigned after less than six months to work for the Walt Disney Co. The post has been filled temporarily by Richard Andrews, former Gov. Pete Wilson's emergency services director.

Bettenhausen was deputy governor for criminal justice and public safety and special counsel to former Illinois Gov. George Ryan from 2000-2003, also serving as that state's homeland security director.

He also was executive director of a commission appointed by Ryan that sharply criticized how the Illinois legal system decided who would face the death penalty. Ryan imposed a moratorium on executions while he was governor.

Bettenhausen, now of Washington, D.C. previously worked with the U.S. Department of Justice and was an assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago.

Schwarzenegger also appointed Gary Winuk as chief deputy director for the homeland security office. He has been deputy director there since 2003, coordinating state and local preparation, response, and recovery efforts. He also has been a first lieutenant in the California Army National Guard since 2003.

Winuk, 36, of Elk Grove previously was a deputy director for the Office of Criminal Justice Planning, and a deputy San Joaquin County district attorney. Bettenhausen, a Republican, will be paid $130,000 and Winuk, a Democrat, $119,000. Neither appointment requires Senate confirmation.

Loading