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Gov. Brewer fills positions for counsel, children, road safety

Gov. Jan Brewer announced a series of staff hires and agency appointments Friday.

The appointees are:

• Vanessa Hickman, who has worked in private practice at Phoenix-area law firms, was named the governor’s deputy general counsel.

• Patricia Cordova will take over as director of the children’s division of the Governor’s Office of Children, Youth and Families. Cordova has more than two decades of experience in public service, with a focus on juvenile justice and human-services public policy. Most recently, she worked at the Arizona Department of Juvenile Corrections.

• Alberto Gutier will be director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, a position he held for eight years under former Govs. Fife Symington and Jane Hull. Most recently, Gutier founded a lobbying and public-affairs firm known as the Gutier Group.

• Matthew Derr will serve as Gutier’s deputy director. Derr was campaign manager last year for Republican Jim Ogsbury in his unsuccessful campaign for the 5th Congressional District seat. Derr previously served as an adviser to Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes and former U.S. Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz.

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