Two outsider candidates vie to become L.A. city attorney
The Los Angeles City Council has voted in favor of hiring an outsider to fill the seat of retiring City Attorney Carmen Trutanich in 2014.
Ald. Bob Blumenfield (R-Glendale), the council’s veteran representative and the chief sponsor of the measure, said he is thrilled that the City Council has chosen to bypass the appointment system.
“It’s a great idea,” he said, adding that the system was “inappropriate, out of step” with the L.A. community and, in the city’s history, had often been used to delay hiring. “I would hate to see that pattern repeated.”
Blumenfield, who is also the father of the city’s top law enforcement officer, said he decided to work with the council on the plan over the spring and summer to ensure the community could have its say during the process of recommending a candidate.
The two leading candidates are Assistant City Attorney Laura Van Dyke and former prosecutor Mary Han.
Carmen Trutanich announced her retirement last week, citing a growing workload, as the city attorney, as one reason for her decision.
The council’s appointment process began in early September when its attorney, John Hall, gave the council his recommendation for hiring an outsider as city attorney. Van Dyke, a former prosecutor who had been involved in the prosecution of the city’s former police chiefs, was among the more than 20 people who applied for the job.
Hall told the council that he would not recommend any one candidate for the position, noting, “It’s like looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s not going to be easy.”
The council, with a few changes, approved Hall’s recommendation to go with Van Dyke to fill the post.
“I’m pleased we’ve settled on one person to start, because the decision was not clear-cut,” Blumenfield said on Thursday. “If we had