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Garcetti's pick of a loyalist as CAO runs counter to that office's history of independence

Garcetti's pick of a loyalist as CAO runs counter to that office's history of independence
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speakers at the U.S. Conference of Mayors Winter Meeting in Washington on Jan. 25. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

To the editor: So Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has appointed a close aide as the city administrative officer. What a downgrade for the CAO's office, probably the most important department in the city. ("So much for a 'nationwide search.' Garcetti picks an insider loyalist to hold L.A.'s purse strings," editorial, Feb. 1)

From the first CAO, Sam Leask, to the great C. Erwin Piper and then Keith Comrie — and most recently Miguel Santana — the apolitical CAO has overseen an independent group of finance professionals trying their best to evaluate everything from departmental staffing to capital projects, always keeping in mind what's in the best interests of the city and its inhabitants.

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And now we have a political aide to the sitting mayor. Sad.

Alan Miller, Santiago, Chile

The writer was a CAO staff member from 1966 to 1971.

..

To the editor: Your summation of the selection of Rich Llewellyn as CAO is, in my view, a classic case of "damning with faint praise."

In the opening paragraphs of your editorial, you damn the process, and in closing, you say this: "Llewellyn could prove to be the sharp analyst and truth teller Los Angeles needs. He's a savvy, experienced City Hall hand, and certainly capable of being an independent operator."

All this happened without paying relocation costs and a very large fee to a head hunter firm. My thanks to the mayor for his apparent wise and cost-savings selection.

Irving Cramer, Venice

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