Gov. Brown has appointed local resident Lieutenant Colonel David Kauffman, 41, as inspector general at the California Military Department.
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According to a press release from the governor’s office, Kauffman has served with the California Army National Guard and the U.S. Army Reserve for nearly 20 years, including tours of duty in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Kosovo; and Afghanistan. He has held multiple positions in the California Military Department from 2005 to 2012, including inspector general and judge advocate.
Kauffman was previously a deputy district attorney with El Dorado County from 2000 to 2005 and staff counsel at Liberty Mutual Insurance Company from 1997 to 2000. He was a legal clerk and hearing representative at the California Correctional Peace Officers Association from 1995 to 1997. He has a law degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
Kauffman says his job is to be the eyes, ears and conscience for the National Guard and the Governor. “I’m in charge of the complaint department,” he said and is tasked with investigating any allegations of misconduct, waste, or misuse of funds. “There are a wide range of things we can look into,” he said, although his office does not handle cases of criminal conduct.
The new inspector general said at the top of his list of priorities is being proactive in reaching out to soldiers and making sure they know their rights and responsibilities. He said he is visiting units and installations throughout the state to let them know that they have an outlet for complaints and that his office is there to support their mission. “We don’t want them unhappy,” said Kauffman.
Kauffman said that besides his job with the state he continues to have a federal role with the National Guard. He recently returned from a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan where he worked in a detention facility helping to train Afghani lawyers.
Kauffman said his experience working in the El Dorado County District Attorney’s office was particularly valuable in preparing him for the position. “I’m very grateful to my supervisors for what I learned. It has helped me tremendously,” he said. “I love El Dorado County and I’m very fortunate that the Governor picked me. I hope to make the people in the county proud.”
Kauffman is married and has two children. His wife teaches biology and chemistry at the same high school his children attend. He and his family live in the Lotus/Coloma area.
The position requires Senate notification and pays $141,619.
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