Executive Staff's Biographies
- Chief of Dispute Resolution: Annmarie Billotti
- Chief of Enforcement: Nelson Chan
- Chief Counsel: Jon M. Ichinaga
- Deputy Director of Administration: Monica Rea
Annmarie Billotti, Esq.
Chief of Dispute Resolution
Annmarie Billotti is the Chief of Dispute Resolution for the Department of Fair Employment and Housing in Elk Grove, CA where she established and manages the Department’s Dispute Resolution Division. Ms. Billotti also is responsible for the DFEH’s legislation, regulation and public affairs units, and manages the Department’s EEO program. Ms. Billotti also formerly served as the DFEH Chief of Mediation, Volunteer Mediation Program Coordinator and also acted as the Department’s Chief Counsel in 2007 and 2008.
Before assuming her responsibilities at DFEH headquarters in 2007, Ms. Billotti held the position of Senior Staff Counsel in Oakland, obtaining significant remedies for complainants in employment and housing discrimination cases litigated in state court and before the Fair Employment and Housing Commission (FEHC). Of note is Ms. Billotti’s litigation of the matter of Dept. of Fair Employ. & Hous. v. SASCOElectric (Scherl) (June 22, 2007) FEHC Precedential Dec. No. 07-02-P [2005 WL 5672426 (Cal.F.E.H.C.)], a pregnancy discrimination case in which the FEHC awarded nearly $125,000 plus front pay and job reinstatement to the complainant and a $25,000 administrative fine to the State General Fund. The FEHC’s decision was upheld in SASCO Electric v. Cal. Fair Employ. & Hous. Com. (Scherl) (2009) 176 Cal.App.4th 532.
Prior to joining the DFEH in 2002, Ms. Billotti spent three years with a private firm litigating employment and civil rights cases and two years with the Santa Clara County Bar Association Law Foundation’s Mental Health Advocacy Project.
Ms. Billotti holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cornell University and a Juris Doctor with highest honors from Golden Gate University School of Law. She has served on the Executive Committee of the State Bar’s Labor and Employment Law Section and was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the California Labor and Employment Law Review, where she remains on the Editorial Board. Ms. Billotti also was a member of the steering committee of the State Bar’s Fair Housing and Public Accommodations Subsection.
- Co-panelist, Annual Update of Labor & Employment Law, 16th Annual Labor and Employment Law Section Public Sector Conference, 2010, Sacramento, California.
- Co-panelist, Nuts and Bolts of the DFEH Administrative Process, Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting 2009, Berkeley, California.
- Co-panelist, Public Sector Law Update, Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting 2009, Berkeley, California.
- Co-author, California Layoff Basics – Two Perspectives, MCLE Self-Study, California Labor & Employment Law Review, Vol. 23, Issue No. 4, July 2009, pages 1, 14-16.
- Co-presenter, Summary of Judicial Review of FEHA Cases Litigated Before the Fair Employment and Housing Commission, California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Training, February and March 2009, Los Angeles & Ventura, California.
- Co-panelist, Inside Scoop—What You Really Need to Know about DFEH/EEOC Investigations, Labor and Employment Law Section Annual Meeting 2006, San Jose, California.
- Co-author, A 10-Year Retrospective of Significant Cases under the FEHA, MCLE Self-Study, California Labor & Employment Law Review, Vol. 20, Issue No. 3, June 2006, pages 1, 15-20.
Nelson Chan, Esq.
Chief of Enforcement
Nelson Chan is Chief of Enforcement of the DFEH Enforcement Division, the investigatory arm of the Department that includes all Employment and Housing offices statewide, including Elk Grove, Bakersfield, Fremont, Fresno and Los Angeles.
A member of the Legal Division from 2004 to 2012 and formerly Chief Counsel as well as Associate Chief Counsel in Elk Grove, Mr. Chan is one of the most experienced and longest-serving attorneys in the DFEH. He has successfully prosecuted numerous Department cases, including: DFEH v. Capital Hills ARCO (Johnson) (sexual harassment in employment), $300,000 plus $25,000 civil penalties; DFEH v. City and County of San Francisco (Martin) (employment retaliation) $160,000 and affirmative relief; DFEH v. Alameda County Superior Court (Bolton) (physical disability in employment) $125,000 and affirmative relief; and DFEH v. Nosratian (Helvaci/HRC) (familial status discrimination in housing), $30,000 and affirmative relief. Mr. Chan has further taught in and supervised the DFEH-UC Davis School of Law Employment Discrimination Program, the Civil Rights Graduate Fellows Program in Elk Grove, as well as numerous law clerks and interns.
Prior to the DFEH, Mr. Chan was Governor Gray Davis’ appointee as: State Director of the Small Business Development Center Program (SBDC); Deputy Secretary of the Global Economic Development Division (GED) of the California Technology, Trade, and Commerce Agency (TTCA); and Director of its Sacramento Regional Office. He also represented clients in private practice.
Active with the bar, Mr. Chan is on the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Public Law Section. Mr. Chan graduated with honors from the University of California at Davis with a B.A. degree in political science/public service. He earned his J.D. degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco.
Jon M. Ichinaga, Esq.
Jon M. Ichinaga is Chief Counsel, the prosecutorial arm of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Immediately prior to becoming Chief Counsel, Jon Ichinaga was Special Projects Counsel | Mediator in the Mediation Division, where he successfully settled many DFEH employment and housing complaints. In addition, he has skillfully designed and taught clinical courses on civil rights practice at the DFEH-UCI School of Law Civil Rights Clinic, exposing law students to three core functions of DFEH—investigation, litigation, and mediation. He has further mentored the Department's first class of Civil Rights Graduate Fellows in Los Angeles and Irvine, coaching them on class action practice in the Department’s Unruh Act case against the Law School Admission Council.
Prior to the DFEH, Mr. Ichinaga had a stellar 20-year career at the California Department of Justice, winning six Attorney General’s Awards for excellence in supervision and litigation of high profile cases. He was Supervising Deputy Attorney General over the Corporate Fraud Section and the Securities and Underground Economy Unit, where he supervised highly publicized complex securities fraud litigation regarding labor law provisions, including civil and criminal investigations under the Unfair Competition Law and the Penal Code. Mr. Ichinaga was Deputy Attorney General IV in the Antitrust Law Section, where he investigated and litigated violations of the Cartwright Act. Notably, during his years in the Civil Rights Enforcement Section, Mr. Ichinaga not only represented the DFEH and FEHC, but also investigated and litigated violations of civil rights laws, including sensitive investigation of civil rights violations by the Riverside Police Department, disability access violations by municipalities, low and moderate income housing violations, and the constitutional rights of students in school disciplinary proceedings. In the Tobacco Litigation Section, Mr. Ichinaga supervised attorneys and paralegals handling People of the State of California v. Philip Morris, a case that resulted in the largest civil settlement against the tobacco industry in the State of California. In the Government Law Section, Mr. Ichinaga litigated construction, public finance, and real property issues involving the State Allocation Board, State Controller, Department of General Services, and the Public Employee Retirement System. In the Health, Education & Welfare Section, Mr. Ichinaga engaged in civil litigation relating to education, health, and welfare services, including statewide initiatives such as immigration status, bilingual education, and use of race and gender classifications with respect to various state programs and services. In addition, Mr. Ichinaga was also in private practice in the litigation department of McKenna & Fitting, a national law firm that represented financial institutions, focusing on law and motion and appellate work with substantive issues relating to employment discrimination, real property, construction, real property financing, and compliance with environmental laws and regulations. Mr. Ichinaga further served as a judicial extern with the Honorable Robert M. Takasugi, U.S. District Court, Central District of California.
Mr. Ichinaga’s published decisions include: California ex rel. Brown v. Villalobos, 453 B.R. 404, 2011 WL 2632635 (D. Nev. July 1, 2011); People ex. rel. Duchard v. O’Neal, 179 Cal.App.4th 1494 (2009); People v. Edward D. Jones & Co., 154 Cal.App.4th 627 (2007); People v. Capital Research and Management Co. v. Brown, 147 Cal.App.4th 58 (2007); and League of United Latin American Citizens v. Wilson, 997 F.Supp.1244 (C.D. Cal. 1997).
Mr. Ichinaga received his B.A. cum laude from California State University at Long Beach, his M.S.W. from UCLA, and his J.D. with honors from Southwestern Law School.
Deputy Director of Administration
Ms. Rea serves as Deputy Director of Administration of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, the largest state civil rights agency in the nation. In her current capacity, she serves as the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) and has responsibility for the full range of administrative services and departmental operations.
She has extensive knowledge of the organization and functions of California State Government, including that of the Legislature and the Executive Branch. Immediately prior to her current position, she was Deputy Appointments Secretary to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. She managed the recruitment and recommendation of candidates to the Appointments Secretary, Chief of Staff and Governor for appointment to full-time exempt positions, boards and commissions in State Government. She was responsible for all appointments to the Office of the Secretary of Education, Business, Transportation and Housing Agency, and State and Consumer Services Agency, in addition to related departments, boards and commissions. She further analyzed and resolved administrative issues related to pay, classification, statute, funding sources and other administrative matters in the recruitment of full-time exempt appointees.
She was formerly Assistant Associate Secretary of External Affairs for the Health and Human Services Agency. In addition to her positions with the Schwarzenegger Administration, Ms. Rea has also worked for former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan, Congressman Edward Royce, and was a senior client manager for CL7 Communications.
Ms. Rea holds a B.A. in economics from the University of Southern California and an MSPA in public administration from California State University, Los Angeles. She is a member of the USC Mexican American Alumni Association, California Women's Leadership Association, Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) and the Society for Human Resource Management.