City Council approves Garcetti’s overhaul of board overseeing LAFD

A slate of new commissioners appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to a civilian board that oversees the Los Angeles City Fire Department was approved Friday.
(Susannah Kay / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles City Council voted Friday to approve the slate of new commissioners appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to a civilian board that oversees the Los Angeles City Fire Department, an agency the new mayor has identified as needing significant reform.

With an 11-0 vote, council members confirmed four new members for the five-person panel.

They are: Jimmy Hara, a retired physician who said he served as Garcetti’s personal doctor; Delia Ibarra, a business litigator; Andrew Glazier, an executive at a local affiliate of AmeriCorps; and Jimmie Woods Gray, a retired teacher who has been active in local politics.

The only holdover is Steven R. Fazio, the head of a dry-cleaning business based in the San Fernando Valley.


Glazier, Ibarra and Woods Gray each contributed money to Garcetti’s campaign for mayor, city records show.

Fazio contributed $1,300 to the campaign of Garcetti’s opponent in this year’s mayoral race, City Controller Wendy Greuel. After the election he supported Garcetti by giving $10,000 to the new mayor’s transition fund.

Departures include the board’s president, Genethia Hudley-Hayes, and attorneys Casimiro U. Tolentino and Andrew Friedman.

Reassigned to a new role in the mayor’s office is Commissioner Alan J. Skobin, who will be responsible for advising the mayor on the LAFD’s efforts to overhaul its often-outdated technology, an effort presented as a top priority at confirmation hearings Friday.

“It’s clear that there is a desperate need for technology in almost every part of the department,” Ibarra told council members on the Public Safety Committee.

The outgoing members of the city Fire Commission, the county’s Civil Grand Jury and the Council have already called for a sweeping overhaul of the department’s systems.


An array of expensive upgrades are already underway, including the installation of GPS devices on rescue vehicles, the replacement of the faulty dispatch database at the core of the agency’s 911 call center and fixes to the alarm system that alerts rescuers at the department’s 106 fire stations.

The LAFD is also reworking the way it analyzes its own performance, an effort triggered last year after fire officials admitted to misstating response times, which made it appear that rescuers arrived faster than they actually did.

After that admission, an independent analysis by The Times found delays in processing 911 calls and summoning the nearest medical rescuers from other jurisdictions, as well as wide gaps in response times in different parts of the city.

Garcetti has yet to decide if he will retain Fire Chief Brian Cummings, who has struggled to restore confidence in his leadership of the 3,500-employee department following the admission of faulty response times.

After taking office in July, Garcetti asked the head of every city department to reapply for their job. Cummings was the first to interview.



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