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Wilson Names INS’ Davidian to Head FPPC

From Times Wire Services

Gov. Pete Wilson on Monday appointed as the state’s chief enforcer of campaign laws Ben Davidian, the western regional commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Davidian, 39, of Laguna Niguel was named chairman of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, replacing former FPPC Chairman John Larson. Larson, onetime Los Angeles County counsel, retired last week after five years with the commission.

“Ben Davidian brings to the job of FPPC chairman a sense of fairness and intellectual honesty, which he has displayed throughout his impressive career,” Wilson said in a statement released by aides. Wilson was in Washington at a governors conference.

Davidian, a registered Republican, was appointed to a four-year term that expires Jan. 31, 1995. He will be paid $95,403 yearly.

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“I am looking forward to the opportunity of serving in this important post in Gov. Wilson’s Administration,” Davidian said in a statement. “I believe my legal experience and background in law enforcement will be great assets as I take on this challenge.”

The FPPC, created by a 1974 political reform initiative, oversees campaign spending and contributions in state political races, regulation of lobbyists and disclosure of their finances, and the disclosure of assets and income of public officials. The commission does not have authority to issue criminal complaints, which it may refer to state or local prosecutors.

Davidian has directed INS activities in the western region--California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam--since his appointment by U.S. Atty. Gen. Dick Thornburgh in August, 1989. Davidian manages a $220-million annual budget and oversees a staff of 4,000 INS and U.S. Border Patrol agents.

He was appointed chairman of the California Agricultural Labor Relations Board by Gov. George Deukmejian in 1987 and was responsible for arbitrating cases of unfair labor practices and disputes surrounding farm union representation elections during his two years on the panel.

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Davidian graduated from Hastings College of Law in 1980 and practiced with firms in Sacramento and San Francisco.

He worked as a faculty lecturer in speech communications at Stanford University from 1978-81 and as a law clerk in 1979 for Judge Joseph Sneed of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

He was a captain in the Air Force from 1973-77, serving as a navigator and military lawyer at Korat Royal Thai Air Base in Thailand.


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