Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has chosen former mayoral candidate Emanuel Pleitez to serve on the panel that oversees retirement benefits for the city’s police officers and firefighters, according to public records.
Garcetti filed paperwork with the city clerk last week nominating Pleitez, 30, to the nine-member Fire and Police Pensions board, a panel that has a narrow majority of its members selected by the mayor. The position is volunteer and does not come with a salary.
Pleitez, who came in fifth in the March 5 primary election, is the third mayoral candidate to endorse Garcetti and then secure a post in his administration. Former radio show host Kevin James, who came in third, was placed on the Board of Public Works, a position that pays $136,000 annually. Councilwoman Jan Perry, who came in fourth, is now the temporary head of the city’s economic development agency.
During the campaign, Pleitez had called for a “buyout” of the city’s pensions, one that would give city employees the opportunity to access their retirement money immediately. Pleitez had described the idea as the first of its kind in the nation, saying it would make the city’s financial burden “more manageable.”
Garcetti spokesman Yusef Robb said the mayor does not support any effort to buy out the pensions of city employees.
Pleitez ran unsuccessfully in 2009 for U.S. Congress and more recently was employed by the data firm Spokeo. During the mayoral campaign, Pleitez regularly warned that the city’s pension systems were in dire shape.