Hahn's Deputy Choices Make Up Diverse Group


Los Angeles Mayor-elect James K. Hahn announced his deputy mayor appointments Saturday, a diverse group representing neighborhoods and ethnic groups across the city.

"He wanted deputy mayors with expertise in all areas of government and . . . a diversity of experience both in terms of geography and ethnicity," said Tim McOsker, Hahn's chief of staff.

Hahn did not retain any top staff members from Mayor Richard Riordan's administration, and his appointments hint at what might captivate Hahn's attention as mayor.

Felipe Fuentes has been named to the newly created post of deputy mayor for special projects and San Fernando Valley issues, a move that acknowledges Valley concerns as well as their strong support in his election.

Hahn also created a deputy mayor for neighborhoods and constituent services, an indication he is following through on his promise to bring government closer to residents. For this job, he chose San Pedro resident Doane Liu, who served as Hahn's director of community services in the city attorney's office.

The 11 appointments are drawn from the staff of his mayoral campaign and city attorney's office.

Matt Middlebrook, who managed Hahn's mayoral campaign and city attorney reelection campaign in 1997, was named deputy mayor for policy and communication.

Hahn's newly appointed communications director appointee Julie Wong served as his press secretary during the mayoral campaign.

And in a change from Riordan, who was criticized by some for going outside the City Council for his staff, Hahn has chosen Carmel Sella as deputy mayor for intergovernmental relations. Sella served as assistant chief deputy for Councilman Mike Feuer.

Other appointments include Troy Edwards as deputy mayor for special projects; Brian Williams as deputy mayor for the environment, transportation and infrastructure; Roberta Yang as deputy mayor for public safety; Crista Binder as budget director; Eric Brown as assistant to the mayor; and Sarah Dusseault as policy director.

Hahn will be meeting with his staff as soon as possible to begin hammering out policy initiatives, which will be announced July 2 at his inauguration.

"This is the beginning of him following through on his promises," McOsker said. "The real work begins now. . . . I think this group is really energized and excited."

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