Senate leader taps 'dearest friend' for $128K job

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A committee led by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg has appointed one of his closest friends to a $128,000-a-year job on a board that has long been criticized as a plum position for termed-out lawmakers.

Sacramento attorney John Adkisson was sworn in Tuesday to the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, which meets once a month. Steinberg, a Sacramento Democrat, will be termed out later this year.

Adkisson has been paid $300,000 annually since 2009 for two state positions: special counsel to the Senate and Legislative Counsel; and director of the Senate Office of Oversight and Outcomes.

Steinberg told The Sacramento Bee in 2009 that his law school classmate was "one of my dearest friends."

A spokesman for Steinberg says Adkisson is highly qualified because of his background in labor law.