Mayor Tom Bradley has reappointed a controversial Los Angeles harbor commissioner who has been criticized by some city officials for apparent conflicts of interest, the mayor’s office announced late Wednesday.
Bradley’s reappointment of attorney Jun Mori to the five-member panel must be approved by the City Council. At least two council members--Joan Milke Flores and Ernani Bernardi--have indicated that they will oppose the five-year appointment, citing Mori’s representation of clients doing business with the Port of Los Angeles.
The Times reported last month that Mori has come under fire by the senior city attorney assigned to the harbor, who has accused the commissioner of being insensitive to appearances of conflicts of interests.
The harbor city attorney, Winston Tyler, said that Mori in the past has participated in matters that could financially affect him and his clients.
Mori has denied any wrongdoing.
Bernardi has been particularly critical of Mori because of the high number of harbor matters transferred for action to a special council committee that he heads, the Board of Referred Powers, which stands in for commissions whose members have potential conflicts. Few on the committee are maritime industry experts.
Following the Times’ series, City Atty. James Kenneth Hahn agreed last week to review the conduct of both Mori and commission President Frederic A. Heim, who has employed some port resources for his personal use. Flores, whose district includes the harbor, requested the probe.
Bradley reappointed Mori without comment Wednesday. In the past, Bradley has described the Japanese-American Mori as an important link to Far East trade, which accounts for most of the port’s business.