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SACRAMENTO, March 18, 2021– California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today stepped down as Attorney General. Prior to confirmation by the United States Senate, Attorney General Becerra selected Matthew “Matt” Rodriquez to serve as Chief Deputy Attorney General. In that role, Chief Deputy Rodriquez will lead the California Department of Justice as Acting Attorney General until such time as Governor Gavin Newsom’s nominee is confirmed by the California Legislature and takes the oath of office. 

“As I begin my service as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I leave the California Department of Justice with deep gratitude,” said Attorney General Becerra. “When I first started as a Deputy Attorney General in the Civil Division back in the 80’s, I never imagined that one day I would come back to the Department of Justice as Attorney General. It has been an honor to serve the people and to represent the state as California Attorney General. Alongside the hardworking men and women of the Department of Justice, we rose to meet historic challenges and upheld the vital mission of serving the people of California. I could not be prouder of the work we have accomplished together, in pursuit of the interests and values of our state.”

Chief Deputy Rodriquez joined the California Department of Justice in 1987 as a Deputy Attorney General in the Land Law Section where he represented the California Coastal Commission, the State Lands Commission, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission.  He was promoted to Senior Assistant Attorney General for the Land Law Section in 1999 and was named Chief Assistant Attorney General for the Public Rights Division in 2008. He also served as an interim Chief Deputy Attorney General for former Attorney General Kamala Harris until his appointment as Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency from 2011 through 2018. In 2019 he returned to the Department of Justice where he again served as the Chief Assistant Attorney General for the Public Rights Division.  

Prior to joining the California Department of Justice, Chief Deputy Rodriquez worked in the City Attorney Offices in the cities of Hayward and Livermore and also served as an Associate Program Analyst for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Research.  He obtained his law degree from UC Hastings College of the Law and worked as a Graduate Student Assistant for the California Coastal Commission during his final year in school. 

A copy of Attorney General Becerra’s letter of resignation is available here.