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Jerry Brown selects wife of longtime friend for education post

January 11, 2011 |  5:32 pm

Jerry Brown has named the wife of one of his top advisers to the state Board of Education. Ilene Straus was named to the board Tuesday, replacing Brown's earlier pick, Louis “Bill” Honig.

Honig was named to the board by Brown last week but withdrew from consideration Monday.

Straus, an assistant superintendent in the Beverly Hills Unified School District and former Santa Monica High School principal, is married to Tom Quinn, a longtime Brown confidant. Quinn was Brown’s first pick to head the California Air Resources Board in the 1970s, and he played a key role on the governor’s post-election transition team last year.

Honig, who was elected three times as state superintendent of Public Instruction, resigned in 1993 after being convicted of four counts stemming from a conflict-of-interest case involving state payments to his wife’s nonprofit organization. The charges were later reduced to misdemeanors.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento