Port of L.A. Chief’s E-Mail Subpoenaed

Times Staff Writer

The U.S. attorney’s office, which for weeks has been subpoenaing documents and senior officials at the Port of Los Angeles as part of its probe into city contracting, has now subpoenaed e-mails from port Executive Director Larry Keller.

A port spokeswoman said Keller was out of town, and the port could not provide further details of the federal subpoena.

But a source familiar with the subpoena said federal authorities were seeking e-mails stretching back to June 2001. That is the same month that Mayor James K. Hahn took office.


Keller, who once worked for international shipping giant Maersk, joined the port under former Mayor Richard Riordan’s administration.

Federal and local authorities have been collecting documents from the port, Los Angeles International Airport and the Department of Water and Power as part of wide-ranging investigations into allegations of improper contracting and potential links between campaign contributions and the awarding of contracts at the mammoth city departments.

Last week, federal prosecutors issued subpoenas for e-mails between city officials and executives at the public relations firm Fleishman-Hillard, which has won more than $20 million worth of contracts with various city departments, including the port.

The U.S. attorney’s office also called Keller and Julia Nagano, the port’s director of public affairs, to testify before a federal grand jury.

In the course of its investigation, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office called four more port employees before a local grand jury.

Both the U.S. attorney’s office and the district attorney’s office have declined to discuss details of their investigations.