Garcetti puts two major Wendy Greuel supporters on planning panel

Former L.A. Police Commission member John Mack, has been nominated to serve on the Planning Commission by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday appointed two major supporters of his opponent in this year’s mayoral election, former City Controller Wendy Greuel, to serve on the influential Planning Commission.

Garcetti chose former Police Commission president John Mack and former Metro board member Richard Katz to serve on the panel, which vets the city’s largest development projects before sending them on to the council.

Mack was a Greuel campaign co-chair and Katz co-hosted fundraisers for Greuel. Both were among nine commissioners announced by the mayor.


Katz, who owns a firm that offers strategic advice and crisis communications consulting, said Garcetti personally called him and “talked about the need to gather talent from around the city.”

“I think most of the people who supported Greuel or Garcetti want him to be successful, because we all live in this city,” Katz said.

Despite those two picks, Garcetti continued his growing practice of giving some commission seats to people who helped him with his campaign.

The mayor tapped attorney Dana Perlman, a campaign fundraiser for President Barack Obama who donated $1,350 to Garcetti’s mayoral bid. Perlman is the lone holdover on the Planning Commission, having been appointed to it by former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last year.

Also on the panel is Renee Dake Wilson, an architect who donated $10,000 to Lots of People Who Support Eric Garcetti, an independent expenditure group that promoted Garcetti’s mayoral bid earlier this year. She also contributed $2,600 directly to Garcetti’s campaign.

Other Planning Commission picks include Caroline Choe, chief executive for NewBridge Investments; attorney Robert Ahn; Maria Cabildo, president of the East LA Community Corp., an affordable housing developer; Marta Segura, a former Garcetti staffer who owns a political outreach firm, and David Ambroz, director of corporate citizenship and social responsibility for Disney/ABC Television Group.


All five contributed to Garcetti’s mayoral campaign. Each of the commission nominees must be confirmed by the City Council.

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