Phil Tagami

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Jerry Brown on Jan. 11 announced the appointment of Phil Tagami, 46, of Oakland to the California Lottery Commission.

A graduate of Laney Junior College, Tagami has worked at the California Capital and Investment Group since 1992, including serving as president and chief executive officer since 2009. The real estate development, asset management, consulting and brokerage firm has restored and rehabilitated such Oakland landmarks as the Fox Theater and the JJ Newberry Building.

He was director of operations for Berger Enterprises from 1987 to 1992. The asset and property management company’s projects included the Lake Merritt Hotel.

During the Occupy Oakland unrest in November, Tagami made headlines when he armed himself with a shotgun to scare off protesters who were breaking into the Rotunda Building, where he is a tenant. He oversaw a $50 million renovation of the building, located at Frank Ogawa Plaza.

“I support many of the diverse objectives of the Occupy movement, and wholeheartedly believe in the rights of assemblage and free speech,” Tagami said after the incident. “Yet it is not an excuse for breaking the law, violent behavior, and vandalizing small businesses … I do not condone taking the law into one’s own hands; however, for whatever reasons there were no law enforcement officials present or en route to my knowledge. I felt the need to defend the janitorial workers, staff, the building, and myself.”

The state position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Tagami is a Democrat.

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