Regulations

New CA Limo Regulator Gets Industry’s Attention, Admiration

Posted on December 12, 2012
Brig. Gen. Jack Hagan, a U.S. Marine, was appointed director of the Consumer Protection & Safety Division of the California Public Utilities Commission on April 23.

Brig. Gen. Jack Hagan, a U.S. Marine, was appointed director of the Consumer Protection & Safety Division of the California Public Utilities Commission on April 23.

Brig. Gen. Jack Hagan, a U.S. Marine, was appointed director of the Consumer Protection & Safety Division of the California Public Utilities Commission on April 23.
Brig. Gen. Jack Hagan, a U.S. Marine, was appointed director of the Consumer Protection & Safety Division of the California Public Utilities Commission on April 23.

LOS ANGELES — The new director of the California Public Utilities Commission charged with overseeing motor carriers spoke to California operators for the first time last night, bringing a clear agenda and a healthy dose of straight talk.

Brig. Gen. Jack Hagan (U.S.M.C./California State Military Reserve), appointed director of the CPUC Consumer Protection and Safety Division on April 23, told members of the Greater California Livery Association he wants to clear up rules, enforce them fairly and more often, and act to root out bad agency behavior and inefficiencies.

“I can’t fix it if I don’t know it’s broken,” said Gen. Hagan, while walking around the banquet room at The Proud Bird in Los Angeles, taking notes and answering questions.  

The veteran Marine and military commander — who served in Vietnam, Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait and Iraq, and Operation Restore Hope in Somalia — did not need a microphone.

“No one dies on my watch,” said Gen. Hagan, quoting his personal mission statement on the back of his business card. He said mission statements need to be simple and measurable, devoid of the typical corporate fluff that characterizes so many pleasant sounding statements that lack punch.

Three more signs that Gen. Hagan is a direct, no-nonsense public servant: He puts his cell phone number on his business card; told a small GCLA gathering earlier on the day: “Everything I say is on the record”; and drove himself around Los Angeles on Tuesday in a rented Toyota Corolla.

As head of the division that regulates the 7,000 charter-party carriers in California, Gen. Hagan told operators he wants to work together to achieve “win-win” results that respect and benefit the small businesses which provide luxury transportation while bolstering an active agency that protects public safety based on clear, fair rules and fees:

  • One of his primary goals is to sort through the many CPUC rules and definitions that apply to charter-party carriers to keep those that apply and eliminate those that don’t.
  • He aims to make sure that mobile-app based transportation providers, such as Uber, comply with the same state rules and requirements as do chauffeured transportation companies. He vowed to be vigilant against such companies.
  • He also plans to set up more enforcement stings against violators and illegal limousine operators. But he urged operators to self-police and report details of suspected violators to the CPUC.
General Jack Hagan, director of the Consumer Protection & Safety Division of the California Public Utilities Commission, answers direct questions from California operators during the annual GCLA Holiday Meeting and Party in Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 2012. He later drew a standing ovation.
General Jack Hagan, director of the Consumer Protection & Safety Division of the California Public Utilities Commission, answers direct questions from California operators during the annual GCLA Holiday Meeting and Party in Los Angeles on Dec. 11, 2012. He later drew a standing ovation.

During his talk, Gen. Hagan invited GCLA attendees to “to take their best shots.” In response to operator complaints about rude CPUC employees and bad service, Gen. Hagan took down some notes so he could pursue the incidents.

“If someone is rude to you on the phone, let me know,” he said. “I am responsible for what my employees do or don’t do. I will gain your trust through my actions.”

Gen. Hagan oversees a division with 242 employees. He told operators that the reality of government now is that staffs are generally being reduced, but the CPUC was fortunate to at least gain 19 new positions.

To underscore his reform- and listening-based approach, one of Gen. Hagan’s first actions was to change the name of his division from “Consumer Protection & Safety” to “Safety & Enforcement.”

“We are a customer service organization,” Gen. Hagan said. “We’ll treat you the way you treat your customers. I’ll take care of that.”

His presentation ended with a standing ovation from GCLA attendees.

Related: California PUC To Evaluate Uber, Ridesharing Services

RelatedGCLA Elects Officers, Board Members for 2013 Terms

— Martin Romjue, LCT editor ; photos by Michael Campos, LCT associate editor

Biography of Brig. Gen. Jack Hagan:

Brigadier General Jack Hagan was appointed Director of the Consumer Protection and Safety Division of the California Public Utilities Commission effective April 23, 2012. His Division has safety oversight of electric and communications facilities, natural gas and propane gas systems, railroads, light rail transit systems, and highway/rail crossings…and has licensing, consumer protection, and safety oversight of motor carriers of passengers, household goods, and water vessels.

Prior to joining the PUC, General Hagan served as Special Agent for the Bureau of Investigation, Division of Law Enforcement, in the California Department of Justice. He has a distinguished 28-year active duty military career as a Marine Corps Infantry officer, including 15 years of command experience in positions ranging from Rifle Platoon Commander to Infantry Battalion Commander, as well as assignments in recruiting, recruit training, as an Inspector General, and in special operations capable units.

General Hagan has served as Officer in Charge, Special Operations Training Group, 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, and directed the special operations training of Marine Expeditionary Units prior to their deployment overseas. He also served in the Republic of Vietnam, Desert Storm, and Operation Restore Hope, Somalia.

General Hagan retired from active duty in 1999, but was recalled to state active duty in 2003 to be the Deputy Director, Training and Exercise Division, Governor’s Office of Homeland Security, where he directed a multi-disciplinary/multi-agency staff of military and civilian subject matter experts in developing, coordinating, and producing exercises and training for California’s 58 counties, five Urban Area Security Initiative cities, and 650,000 emergency responders to respond to terrorist attacks involving weapons of mass destruction and catastrophic natural disasters.

He was promoted to Brigadier General in 2006 and served as the Commanding General of the California State Military Reserve, California Military Department.  General Hagan has also served as Chief of the Division of Investigation, Department of Consumer Affairs, where he was responsible for directing a staff of sworn law enforcement officers and non-sworn investigators in conducting criminal and administrative investigations and providing law enforcement services to protect the health, safety, and welfare of all Californians.

General Hagan’s decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Order of California, 11 other personal decorations, numerous campaign and service medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Parachutist insignia, and the Combat Diver insignia. He holds a Master of Arts in Psychology from Pepperdine University; a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina; and is a graduate of the Marine Corps Command and Staff College. He also holds a Peace Officers Standards and Training Advanced Certificate.

Source: GCLA

Related Topics: California operators, California Public Utilities Commission, GCLA, limo associations, regulatory enforcement, state regulations

Comments ( 1 )
  • Bryan Lws

     | about 5 years ago

    Notice how CPUC has no emails or phone number listed to contact Hagen. And, I'm surprised there were complaints of employees being rude, cause no one answers the phones there in Licensing. I have been trying to add another vehicle since March.

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