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The Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor
Award is the highest honor the state of California bestows upon its employees. It
is awarded to individuals, on or off duty, who perform an act of heroism above and
beyond the call of duty to save the life of another person or state property. The
Special Act and Special Service awards are honorary and consist of a gold or silver
medal, a certificate signed by the Governor, a citation describing the heroic act or
service, and lapel pin. The awards are presented by the Governor at a ceremony in
A Special Service (Silver) is an act of heroism by a state
employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service, performed at
personal risk to his/her safety to save human life or state property.
A Special Act (Gold) is an extraordinary act of heroism by
a state employee extending far above and beyond the normal call of duty or service,
performed at great risk to his/her own life in an effort to save human life.
The deadline to submit a nomination is September 9, 2022.
Please read and follow these instructions carefully.
Failure to provide requested information and documentation will delay processing and
may result in the nomination being denied.
The citation is a summary of the heroic act or
service. It is reviewed and edited by CalHR staff. The final document is
read at the ceremony and provided to the recipient as part of the award
NEDRA CARTWRIGHT- MAY
On February 18, 2011, at approximately 12:30 p.m., a
Hollywood DMV employee was helping a female customer renew her driver’s
license. The customer was given a temporary license and advised that the actual
license would be mailed to the address she provided on the application. When she
heard this, the woman became infuriated, banged the counter with her fist, and stormed
away. As she approached the building exit, she suddenly grabbed an innocent woman by
the hair and started punching her in the face. The victim was waiting for her
husband who was taking a test and just happened to be sitting near the exit.
Lobby employees notified Manager I, Nedra Cartwright-May. Ms. Cartwright-May
immediately responded and pulled the woman off the victim. Ms. Cartwright-May
took the woman’s car keys as she attempted to leave the building, and contained
her until the Los Angeles Police Department arrived and arrested her for battery.
Witnesses at the scene said they did not intervene because they thought the woman might
have a gun or a knife. The State of California takes great pride in presenting
this Silver Medal of Valor to DMV Manager I, Nedra Cartwright-May.
CARMELO A. SPADA
On July 24, 2013, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Patrol
Lieutenant Carmelo A. Spada was off duty in Chowchilla, riding his mountain bike under
the Highway 99 Bridge, when a woman came running out screaming, “My baby was
swept away, help me!” Lt. Spada immediately dropped his bike and dove into
the swift water.
He swam downstream and spotted the two little girls in the water, hanging onto a tree
branch. He swam to them, but realized he couldn’t rescue both at the same
time. He decided to take the smallest girl first. He placed her arms around
his neck, swam to the opposite side of the slough, and placed her in a safe spot out of
the water. He then ran back upstream, reentered the water, and swam downstream
until he reached the second girl. Lt. Spada helped her untangle herself from the
tree branches, placed her arms around his neck, and swam her to safety too. The
Chowchilla Police department had responded to the scene for a possible drowning or
swift water rescue, so Lt. Spada turned the girls and their mother over them. The
girls were treated for hypothermia and shock and released back to their mother.
The State of California takes great pride in presenting this Gold Medal of Valor to
Patrol Lieutenant Carmelo A. Spada.
Please contact your departmental
Merit Award Administrator or CalHR’s Merit Award Program Manager, at email@example.com.