Riordan gets long-delayed official tribute from City Hall

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe top 10 theme park moments of 2019 Caught up in the event was Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuez, D-Los Angeles, who talked of tough basketball games against Riordan in Sacramento and a confession: “If we had a governor like Dick Riordan, we wouldn’t have all the disagreements we do now in Sacramento,” Nuez said. “At the time of the recall, there was a lot of talk about Dick Riordan running for governor. If he had, it would have been the first Republican I ever voted for.” Riordan retired as education secretary, voicing frustration at the inability to accomplish significant reform goals. While he has talked about returning to his former law firm to serve as a consultant, Riordan said he remains committed to pushing education reform. One possibility is taking over as head of the Small Schools Alliance, the organization trying to push the Los Angeles Unified School District to develop smaller campuses. It’s been four years since Richard Riordan left City Hall as the 39th mayor, but it wasn’t until last Thursday that he finally received the official recognition he had long sought. A reception in the 28th-floor City Hall Tower co-sponsored by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo brought back Riordan, many of the department heads he appointed who remain with the city, and dozens of staff members, friends and families. The remodeled City Hall was not completed when Riordan left office in 2001. Needless to say, his relations with former Mayor James Hahn were far from cordial, so no such event was ever held for him. Officially, the reception was to honor Riordan for his work as secretary of education for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, but all of the attention at the event was focused on Riordan’s two terms as mayor. With his emphasis on ethics during his first month as mayor, Villaraigosa is taking another step to make sure his staff and city workers comply with city law. In addition to having his own staff attorney, Thomas Saenz, serve as a quasi ethics czar, Villaraigosa has persuaded former Ethics Commission spokeswoman Barbara Freeman to join his staff. Freeman, who worked for the Ethics Commission for nine years, had left city service to work as a consultant and adviser on ethical conduct for some law firms. In her role in the Mayor’s Office, she will oversee and advise city staffers, commissioners and department heads on ethics laws. Outgoing Planning Director Con Howe reflected on his first days in the city of Los Angeles and what he has learned, in a recent interview he gave to the weekly Planning Report newsletter. Three weeks after Howe arrived in the city, the Rodney King riots broke out. “I was touring the area with then-Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, driving among the burned-out buildings. He asked if I was uncomfortable and I explained that I had seen plenty of burned-out buildings in the South Bronx. “Actually, I was more afraid on the previous day when then-Councilmember Marvin Braude and Cindy Miscikowski showed me the dirt part of Mulholland Drive and warned me about the rattlesnakes.” He also acknowledged that he was fearful in his early days on the city payroll that a secret would emerge: He had never owned a car before arriving in the city. Howe has submitted his resignation but is staying on until a replacement is chosen. The Los Angeles Police Protective League is again demonstrating the yin and yang of politics. In its latest newsletter, the league reaches out to Villaraigosa whom the league opposed in this year’s mayoral election calling him the “Not So New Kid on the Block” and saying they believe he has “an arsenal of skills” to provide the moral and financial support the LAPD needs. On the other end is the league’s view of Schwarzenegger. They say one of his proposed reforms the Live Within Our Means Act, set for the November special election will hurt officers. “The governor has yet to learn that legislating by poorly drafted initiatives won’t work,” Protective League President Bob Baker said. The league is expected to join in the already expensive campaign aimed at defeating the governor’s special-election reform proposals. Rick Orlov, (213) 978-0390 [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more