Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti Wednesday appointed Rich Llewellyn as city administrative officer, a job he has held on an interim basis for a year.
The CAO, who is appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council, serves as a top adviser to the mayor and council, steers the city’s day-to-day financial management and leads city management’s negotiations with employee labor groups.
Llewellyn replaced Miguel Santana as CAO on Feb. 1, 2017, on an interim basis, and his second six-month interim appointment was set to expire Thursday. The permanent appointment must be confirmed by the council.
“Rich’s integrity, proven leadership skills and wide range of experience in city government give me great confidence that he will be an outstanding CAO,” Garcetti said. “He will be the strong, independent presence we need to oversee the budget process, and make the tough choices necessary to ensure that Angelenos’ tax dollars are invested wisely and responsibly as we take on new challenges and seize new opportunities.”
According to Garcetti’s office, the appointment of Llewellyn follows a national search for a permanent successor to Santana. It also comes after Councilman David Ryu sent a letter to Garcetti this week contending that the council had been left in the dark on details about the search.
“If such a search has been conducted, the public and City Council should be informed of the number of resumes received, outreach conducted and the review process. The residents of Los Angeles must be assured that every effort was taken to identify a pragmatic, independent and problem-solving CAO,” Ryu said.
Garcetti’s press secretary, Alex Comisar, said Garcetti has been in contact with the council regarding the search.
“Mayor Garcetti has conducted a thorough nationwide search for our next permanent CAO, and vetted candidates with a wealth of talent from across the country,” Comisar said. “The mayor has been conferring with his colleagues on the City Council — to keep them informed, ask for their advice and solicit feedback on potential candidates — every step of the way.”
Lewellyn is a longtime City Hall insider who previously served as chief of staff to Councilman Paul Koretz; chief of staff to Garcetti; special counsel to former District Attorney Gil Garcetti — Eric Garcetti’s father; chief deputy city attorney under Rocky Delgadillo; and senior deputy to late Los Angeles County Supervisor Ed Edelman.
“Rich is an excellent choice to be our city’s CAO,” said Councilman Paul Krekorian, chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. “It has been a true pleasure to work with both Rich and Matt Szabo over the past few years as we successfully steered Los Angeles through the most challenging budget times in the city’s history. While we’ve accomplished much together, many challenges lie ahead. I’m confident that Rich will do a terrific job serving the people of Los Angeles and I look forward to working closely with him to continue our financial progress.”
–City News Service