- Associated Press - Monday, December 28, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Gov. Jerry Brown has promoted a corrections staffer as the next secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Brown’s office announced Monday that Undersecretary of Operations Scott Kernan would take over leadership of the prison system.

Current Secretary Jeffrey Beard said earlier this month that he would depart the post on Jan. 1.

Beard oversaw the state prison system during a time of transformation, as the population has dramatically shrunk in response to federal court orders and voters’ wishes. He served for three years.

Brown says the new chief, Kernan, started as a California corrections officer in 1983 and has worked his way up through management.

The state Senate must confirm the nomination of the 55-year-old Kernan, who is a Republican. His salary will be $243,360.

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