City Controller-elect Kenneth Mejia announced his leadership team Wednesday, and it includes a former deputy mayor and a top official with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
Mejia, a tax accountant and activist, defeated three-term Councilman Paul Koretz with more votes than any other candidate running for citywide office in Los Angeles history, according to Mejia’s office.
“This is an inclusive, diverse team including many fresh faces and a few veterans who share the same goals of providing transparency and holding power accountable,” Mejia said of his staff.
Jane Nguyen, Mejia’s campaign manager, will serve as his chief of staff. Nguyen co-founded Ktown for All, a homeless advocacy organization, and has organized with coalitions such as Services Not Sweeps and People’s Budget LA. She said in a statement that she was excited to carry out Mejia’s vision that “will uplift the needs of the most vulnerable and work to advance the quality of life of everyday Angelenos.”
Mejia’s chief deputy controller will be Rick Cole, a former deputy mayor for budget and innovation under Mayor Eric Garcetti. Cole has also served as mayor of Pasadena and city manager of Santa Monica.
“We’ll empower the professional staff, work collaboratively with all the city departments and utilize technology to reshape LA government to work better and cost less,” Cole said in a statement. “We will hold ourselves and others accountable to serve the four million residents of Los Angeles with integrity and excellence.”
Sergio Perez, the inspector general for the Department of Water and Power, will serve in a newly created role of chief of accountability and oversight. The position will lead audits of city agencies and help manage the fraud, waste and abuse hotline and investigations.
Perez has previously worked in the city’s Ethics Commission as director of enforcement.
“I’m excited to join a team that will ensure the people of Los Angeles get the effective, transparent, and just government services they deserve,” Perez said.