L.A. County supervisors name acting chief executive

LA County supervisors name acting replacement to departing CEO William Fujioka.

Los Angeles County supervisors voted Tuesday to appoint an acting replacement for Chief Executive William T Fujioka, who retires at the end of the month.

Brence Culp, Fujioka's chief deputy, will take the top role while the board continues the search for a permanent replacement.

Culp, a former tax and real estate lawyer, has worked in the chief executive's office since 2009 and previously held other county and city positions, including serving as chief financial officer for the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency and as a budget deputy for Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

Fujioka announced his plans to retire in June. His departure will coincide with the retirement of Yaroslavsky and Gloria Molina due to term limits. Newly elected Supervisors Sheila Kuehl and HildaSolis will take their place Dec. 1.

Some of the current board members had initially hoped to choose a permanent replacement for Fujioka before the changing of the guard on the board, but they backed off after push back by the incoming board members.

Two of the sitting supervisors, Mark Ridley-Thomas and Michael D. Antonovich, also want to change the structure of the chief executive office, giving the Board of Supervisors more direct oversight of county departments.

At Tuesday's meeting, several supervisors praised Fujioka for his seven years as chief executive, citing his fiscal stewardship and his personal touch with constituents and county employees. Molina, an avid quilter, presented him with a quilt she had made for the occasion. 

Fujioka, in turn, thanked the supervisors and recounted a public sector career that began with a janitor's job while studying at UC Santa Cruz.

"We have many, many titles," he said. "We have supervisor, we have chief deputy, we have me, the CEO, we have custodians and clerks and eligibility workers. We all share one title, and the only title I've ever really, really wanted and I'm very proud to have is that of a public servant."

Follow Abby Sewell on Twitter at @sewella for more county news.


Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times