Matthew Bettanhousen will start his new job as California's homeland security director early next month. For the last year and a half, the 44-year-old Republican has worked at the Federal Department of Homeland Security serving as a liaison with states, sharing intelligence and helping state leaders tackle security concerns. Now, he'll be on the other side of the table. Joshua Filler is director of the office of state and local government coordination in the US Homeland Security department. He was Bettanhoussen's boss and says he's an outstanding pick to lead anti-terrorism efforts in the Golden State.
"It's a challenge and I think that's one of the reasons why the Governor wanted to tap Matt because Matt has the experience. Illinois as well as federal DHS where I think he can bring a great deal of understanding and knowledge and handle something as big and as complicated as California."
Bettanhousen is a former Federal prosecutor and also once headed Homeland Security in Illinois. His appointment does not require legislative approval. Bettanhousen will earn a relatively modest 130-thousand dollars a year.