Jerry Brown

California's top oil regulator quits after 17 months on the job

California's top oil regulator announced his resignation Monday after 17 months as head of the embattled agency, including a criticized episode in which he directed state workers to investigate the oil and gas potential of Gov. Jerry Brown's family ranch.

Steve Bohlen, the state's oil and gas chief, is quitting to return to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, according to a statement from Brown's office.

The statement did not give a reason for Bohlen's resignation, but it said Bohlen had been on loan from his work at the research center. Officials at the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources did not immediately return calls seeking comment.