A prominent attorney has been tapped to join the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, filling out the depleted civilian panel at a pivotal time as it begins the search for a replacement for outgoing Police Chief William J. Bratton.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced his nomination of former U.S. Atty. Debra Wong Yang, saying the decision came after a "long, exhaustive search." Yang, 49, once served as a Superior Court judge.

Yang's nomination must be voted on by the City Council when it returns from summer recess. She would fill a seat on the five-member panel vacated by former commission President Anthony Pacheco, who left to pursue his legal career.

-- Phil Willon and Joel Rubin

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