Two outsider candidates vie to become L.A. city attorney
In a rare move, the City Council has unanimously chosen an outsider to be elected the city’s attorney, a post normally held by a member of the City Attorney’s Office or the Los Angeles County Bar.
For the past seven years, the job of city attorney has been held by James Hahn, the longest-serving mayor, City Hall veteran and City Council member.
The city council and mayor in a statement described the move as a way to increase the city’s stability.
It also was a way to send a message of change.
“By choosing a person who is not one of us who has worked with us for several terms, we are sending a clear signal that we are looking to make significant changes to the way we conduct business in the years ahead,” the statement said.
Former Councilman Robert Garcia introduced the bill for the mayor’s selection.
He said Hahn is the right fit for the post because he was the best-qualified candidate.
“That is precisely why I was proud to take this very important step,” Garcia said. “I am confident he will make a strong advocate and strong advocate for the residents of Los Angeles, and if elected, bring a wealth of practical, real-world experience into the position.”
In a memo to council members, Hahn said he “wants to serve the city’s most important job” by being the city’s top legal officer.
“I understand the important role the position plays in this city,” Hahn said. “I also understand the importance of having strong leadership.”
The move will also open the door for a new attorney to run for mayor. Hahn will be the first elected or unelected member of the City Council to hold the position.
“I look forward to using my leadership to build upon the reforms we have underway and to ensure that the citizens of Los Angeles will have greater control over the City’s future and their financial future,” Hahn said.
Hahn, the son of a Korean immigrant and former mayor of Encino, was elected mayor in 2004 and re-