Military leader sworn in to head beleaguered parks

  • Retired Marine Corp Major General Anthony Jackson, right, smiles as he takes a reporters question after he was sworn-in as the new director of the California State Parks in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Nov. 16, 2012. Jackson, 63, was appointed to the position by Gov. Jerry Brown to replace Ruth Coleman, who resigned this summer in the wake of a scandal that uncovered $54 million kept hidden from the Legislature. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

SACRAMENTO — A retired Marine Corps general pledged Friday to restore integrity to California's troubled state parks department as he was sworn in as its new director.

Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson also said he has no immediate plans to close any parks.

Jackson's management experience will make him a good steward, Natural Resources Secretary John Laird said during the ceremony at department headquarters in Sacramento.

Jackson, 63, steps in as the state continues to investigate why $54 million was kept hidden in two special funds, even as budget cuts threatened to close 70 of nearly 280 state parks.

Jackson said he wants to win the trust of the public and the respect of the more than 2,000 department employees.

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