Commission Members


Nanci E. Nishimura, Esq., Chairperson
Attorney – Appointed by the Governor
Appointment began May 12, 2011
Reappointed February 25, 2015
Term ends February 28, 2019

Honorable Michael B. Harper, Vice-Chairperson
Superior Court Judge – Appointed by the Supreme Court
Appointment began March 1, 2017
Term ends February 28, 2021

Anthony P. Capozzi, Esq.
Attorney – Appointed by the Governor
Appointment began April 6, 2010
Reappointed December 23, 2013
Term ends February 28, 2017

Honorable William S. Dato
Court of Appeal Justice – Appointed by the Supreme Court
Appointment began April 1, 2018
Term ends February 28, 2021

Mr. Eduardo “Eddie” De La Riva
Public Member – Appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly
Appointment began January 1, 2018
Term ends February 28, 2021

Ms. Sarah Kruer Jager
Public Member – Appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly
Appointment began March 1, 2016
Term ends February 28, 2019

Ms. Pattyl A. Kasparian
Public Member – Appointed by the Senate Rules Committee
Appointment began April 15, 2015
Term ends February 28, 2019

Dr. Michael A. Moodian
Public Member – Appointed by the Governor
Appointment began July 16, 2015
Reappointed on February 21, 2017
Term ends February 28, 2021

Mr. Richard Simpson
Public Member – Appointed by the Senate Rules Committee
Appointment began September 7, 2018
Term ends February 28, 2021

Mr. Adam N. Torres
Public Member – Appointed by the Governor
Appointment began May 12, 2011
Reappointed February 25, 2015
Term ends February 28, 2019

Honorable Erica R. Yew
Superior Court Judge – Appointed by the Supreme Court
Appointment began December 10, 2010
Reappointed March 1, 2011 and March 1, 2015
Term ends February 28, 2019

Members’ Biographies

NANCI E. NISHIMURA, ESQ., CHAIRPERSON, was appointed to the commission as a lawyer member by the Governor May 12, 2011, and reappointed February 25, 2015; her term ends February 28, 2019. Ms Nishimura was elected chairperson of the commission in March 2018. She served as acting vice-chairperson of the commission in 2017-2018. She resides in San Mateo County. Ms. Nishimura is a partner at Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, LLP, where her practice focuses on antitrust and business litigation. She was a legislative assistant to Senator Daniel Inouye, and a clerk to the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the U.S. International Trade Commission. Prior to law, Ms. Nishimura was a business development consultant to major corporations in Japan. She served on the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission from 2004 to 2008. In 2015, she was selected to serve on the White House Initiative on Asian American Pacific Islanders, as part of the President’s Commission on Asian American Pacific Islanders. This select group provides strategic guidance to the President and Cabinet on access to higher education, healthcare, and entrepreneurial opportunities. In 2015, she was appointed by U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer to serve on the Judicial Appointments Committee for the Northern District of California. She is involved in numerous professional and nonprofit organizations, including the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center Foundation and the Commission and Board of Trustees of the Asian Art Museum Foundation, San Francisco. Ms. Nishimura received her law degree from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Master of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Southern California.

HON. MICHAEL B. HARPER, VICE-CHAIRPERSON, was appointed to the commission as a superior court judicial member by the Supreme Court to a term commencing March 1, 2017; his term ends February 28, 2021. Judge Harper was elected Vice-Chairperson of the commission in March 2018. Judge Harper has served on the Trinity County Superior Court since his appointment in 2014, and he was retained by voters in a 2016 election. Judge Harper’s court assignments have included civil, small claims, dependency, and criminal cases. He has served as the court’s assistant presiding judge and presiding judge of the Juvenile Court, and administers the Peer Court. Judge Harper also provides judicial assistance as required to the neighboring superior courts in Humboldt and Shasta Counties. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Harper served for 20 years conducting investigations and prosecutions as Trinity County District Attorney, and as deputy district attorney for Trinity, Sacramento, and Placer County District Attorneys’ Offices. He graduated from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

ANTHONY P. CAPOZZI, ESQ.,  was appointed to the commission as a lawyer member by the Governor April 6, 2010, and reappointed December 23, 2013; his term ends February 28, 2017. Mr. Capozzi served as the chairperson of the commission from March 2016 to March 2017.  He served as the commission’s vice-chairperson from 2013 to 2016. He resides in Fresno and Monterey Counties. Mr. Capozzi received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1967 and his law degree from the University of Toledo College of Law in 1970. Mr. Capozzi served as a law clerk to the Honorable Omer Poos, a United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of Illinois, from 1970 to 1973. From 1973 to 1979, he was a Supervising Assistant United States Attorney in the Eastern District of California, Fresno Division. He has owned and operated the Law Offices of Anthony P. Capozzi since 1979, primarily focusing his practice in the area of criminal law. Mr. Capozzi is admitted to the Ohio, Illinois and California bars. He has served as president of the Fresno County Bar Association and the Federal Bar Association, San Joaquin Valley Chapter; lawyer representative and co-chair of the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference; co-chair of the Bench Bar Coalition; president of the State Bar of California, 2003 to 2004; member of the Access and Fairness Commission, 2004 to 2005; and member of the Judicial Council, 2005 to 2010. Mr. Capozzi has served as the legal and political analyst for ABC Channel 30, KFSN-TV in the Central Valley since 2005. He has served as president and is currently a member of the Law School Advisory Committee for the State Bar accredited law schools and is secretary of the Board of the Central California Blood Center. Since 2005, Mr. Capozzi has been a fellow of the American Board of Criminal Lawyers. In June of 2010, Mr. Capozzi received an Honorary Doctorate of Law degree from the Southern California Institute of Law. In March of 2013, Mr. Capozzi was inducted as a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. In June of 2015, Mr. Capozzi was awarded the Bernie E. Witkin Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fresno County Bar Association

HON. WILLIAM S. DATO was appointed to the commission as the Court of Appeal judicial member by the Supreme Court April 1, 2018; his current term ends February 28, 2021. Justice Dato has served as associate justice of Division One of the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District since 2017. Prior to his appointment to the appellate bench, Justice Dato was a certified appellate law specialist in private practice and worked as an appellate court staff attorney with Justice Howard B. Wiener of the California Court of Appeal, Justice Mathew O. Tobriner of the California Supreme Court, and Chief Justice Rose E. Bird of the California Supreme Court. He has also been an adjunct professor at both the University of San Diego School of Law and California Western School of Law, teaching appellate practice and products liability. Justice Dato received his law degree from University of California, Los Angeles in 1980 and his bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from San Diego State University in 1977.

MR. EDUARDO “EDDIE” DE LA RIVA was appointed to the commission as a public member by the Speaker of the Assembly January 1, 2018; his term ends February 28, 2021. He resides in Los Angeles County. Mr. De La Riva is a council member of the Maywood City Council. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a minor in Public Policy and a specialization in Urban Planning.

MS. SARAH KRUER JAGER was appointed to the commission as a public member by the Speaker of the Assembly March 1, 2016; her term ends February 28, 2019. She resides in San Diego County. Ms. Kruer Jager is a partner of Monarch Group, a private real estate investment and development firm based in San Diego and focused on the entitlement, development, and acquisition of institutional quality apartment communities in the Western U.S. She joined Monarch in 2005. Ms. Kruer Jager works closely with Monarch’s founding partners to set the firm’s strategic direction and oversees day-to-day business activities for all of Monarch’s wholly owned and joint venture investments. In this capacity, she leads the acquisition, predevelopment, disposition, and asset management functions and manages relationships with Monarch’s capital partners. During her tenure at Monarch, Ms. Kruer Jager has acquired, developed, and sold over $1 billion in real estate investments throughout the Western U.S. Prior to Monarch, she worked at UBS Investment Bank in Chicago in the Mergers & Acquisitions and Diversified Industrials Groups. Ms. Kruer Jager is passionate about her community, as well as leveling the playing field for young women in sports and business. She is currently involved in the following civic and industry organizations: In addition to the commission, Ms. Kruer Jager is a member of the Urban Land Institute and its Bronze Multifamily Council. She is also a founding advisory board member of Run Women Run and a member of the San Diego Community College District Citizens’ Oversight Committee. Ms. Kruer Jager graduated from the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with High Distinction and received her MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Finance. She was awarded a four-year full tuition athletic scholarship as a member of the University of Michigan Division I Varsity Women’s Golf Team. Ms. Kruer Jager’s academic and athletic honors include being named by the National Golf Coaches Association to the Division I All-American Scholar Golf Team and receiving Academic All-Big Ten Conference Honors.

MS. PATTYL A. KASPARIAN was appointed to the commission as a public member by the Senate Committee on Rules April 15, 2015; her term ends February 28, 2019. She resides in Los Angeles County. She serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Development for the Caltech Employees Federal Credit Union. She oversees two departments, Marketing and Business Development, in conjunction with relationship management with the extended California Institute of Technology community, which includes the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Huntington Botanical Gardens. Currently, Ms. Kasparian serves as a board member of the Armenian National Committee of America Western Region as well as a board member of the Caltech Y, a board composed of faculty, JPL and Caltech staff, alumni and students dedicated to the enhancement of student life. Ms. Kasparian is a member of numerous professional and nonprofit organizations, including the Credit Union Executive Society, House of Armenia, ACF Trust Fund, and school Parent Support Committee. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from California State University, Northridge and an Executive Master in Business Administration degree from Pepperdine University School of Business and Management. Ms. Kasparian is also a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of California.

DR. MICHAEL A. MOODIAN was appointed to the commission as a public member by the Governor July 16, 2015 and reappointed February 2017; his term ends February 28, 2021. He resides in Orange County. Dr. Moodian is a faculty member for Chapman University’s College of Educational Studies, and he serves as chair of the Santa Margarita Catholic High School Consultative School Board, founding chair of the United Nations Association of Orange County Advisory Board, a member of the UC Irvine Olive Tree Initiative Advisory Board, and former chairman of the World Affairs Council of Orange County. He edited a textbook in 2009 that examines the application of cultural comprehension to organizations and the measurement of intercultural competence. The book is cited by the Association of American Colleges & Universities in establishing national learning standards. Dr. Moodian has presented his research at various national and international conferences and has served as an expert commentator on several television and radio programs. Based on his interest in local history, he wrote a short book on the ranch history of South Orange County and North San Diego County. Dr. Moodian often speaks to K-12 and community groups on South Orange County’s indigenous American activity, the Portola Expedition, Mexican governance of the land, and 20th century ranching activity. Chapman University named him Teacher of the Year at its Irvine center in 2009, and OC Metro named him a 40 Under 40 honoree in 2010. Additionally, he was one of 18 Americans (and the only California resident) selected by the European Union to travel to Brussels in 2012 as a citizen diplomat to discuss education policy with EU officials. Dr. Moodian earned a Doctor of Education degree in Organizational Leadership from Pepperdine University, and a Master of Arts degree in Communications and Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and Sociology from California State University, Fullerton.

MR. RICHARD SIMPSON was appointed to the commission as a public member by the Senate Rules Committee on September 7, 2018; his term ends February 28, 2021. Mr. Simpson previously served on the commission as a public member appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly from June 17, 2013, until December 31, 2017. Mr. Simpson served as vice-chairperson of the commission in 2017. Mr. Simpson resides in Sacramento County. He is a retired Deputy Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the California State Assembly. He served as a senior advisor for eight prior Assembly Speakers. He served for two years as Chief of Staff for the Senate Education Committee and for more than six years as Chief Consultant for the Assembly Education Committee. In 1999, Mr. Simpson served for six months as the first Legislative Secretary for California Governor Gray Davis. He has either written, or played a key role in, developing most of California’s major education reforms of the past three decades, including the Class Size Reduction program, the laws creating California’s system of academic standards and assessment, California’s school facilities financing laws, and the recent law creating a new structure for school accountability. Mr. Simpson also drafted the budget reform measures contained in Propositions 1A and 1B for the 2009 special election and the education sections of Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.’s Proposition 30 in 2012. Mr. Simpson was the Assembly’s lead negotiator on the annual budget for public education. He served for 12 years as an elected trustee of the Sacramento County Board of Education and was elected president of that board three times. Mr. Simpson is a frequent speaker at statewide conferences and has received numerous awards for public service including the Golden Oak Service Award of the California State PTA. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz and earned a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley.

MR. ADAM N. TORRES was appointed to the commission as a public member by the Governor May 12, 2011, and reappointed February 25, 2015; his term ends February 28, 2019. He resides in Riverside County. Mr. Torres is Executive Director of the San Manuel Gaming Commission where he oversees the commission’s operations with an emphasis on licensing, audit, internal controls, compliance, investigations and surveillance. Previously, he was Managing Director of Business Intelligence and Investigations from 2011 to 2015 at Stroz Friedberg where his expert area of focus was white collar investigations, intelligence and due diligence and security consulting. He was appointed by the President of the United States as the Marshal for the Central District of California from 2003 to 2010, where he was responsible for the protection of the federal courts, pre-sentenced federal prisoners, apprehension of fugitives, and asset forfeitures. At the Internal Revenue Service, Mr. Torres was a Supervisory Special Agent from 2000 to 2003, Special Agent from 1993 to 2000 and Revenue Agent from 1986 to 1992. As a Revenue Agent, he conducted audits of large and complex financial structures; and as a Supervisory Special Agent and Special Agent, he led and conducted criminal investigations for tax evasion, money laundering, public corruption and a variety of other financial crimes and fraud. While at the IRS, he also served as an Equal Employment Opportunity Investigator conducting investigations of EEO violations for the Department of the Treasury. Mr. Torres has been recognized by a variety of governmental, private and professional organizations for outstanding service. He is a Certified Fraud Specialist and licensed Private Investigator and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Accounting from California State University, San Bernardino.

HON. ERICA R. YEW was appointed to the commission as a superior court judicial member by the Supreme Court December 10, 2010, and reappointed March 1, 2011 and March 1, 2015; her term ends February 28, 2019. Judge Yew served as the commission’s chairperson from 2013 to 2016, and as its vice-chairperson in 2012 and 2013. Judge Yew sits on the Santa Clara County Superior Court, to which she was appointed in October 2001. She was a member of the Judicial Council from 2009 to 2012, and a member of the California State Bar Board of Governors from 2000 to 2001. She serves on the Judicial Council’s Advisory Committee on Providing Access and Fairness and the California Commission on Access to Justice. Among her judicial assignments, Judge Yew has presided over a dependency drug treatment court and has spoken nationally on the topic of problem-solving courts. Judge Yew has also served on the Judicial Council’s Task Force on Self-Represented Litigants and has taught on a number of topics for the Center for Judicial Education and Research and other entities. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Yew was a civil litigator and graduated from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and with honors from the University of California, Berkeley. She has received a number of awards for her community service and work as a judge, including Trial Judge of the Year in 2015 from the Santa Clara County Trial Lawyers Association and Outstanding Jurist of the Year in 2016 from the Santa Clara County Bar Association, as well as a 2017 Distinguished Service Award from the Judicial Council.