Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, July 11, 2001


Page 3


Hahn Names Four Lawyers, Reappoints Boeckmann to Police Commission


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Mayor Jim Hahn yesterday named four Los Angeles attorneys to serve on the Police Commission with longtime member Bert Boeckmann.

Lawyers Rick Caruso, Rose Ochi, David Cunningham III and Silvia Saucedo were named to the high-profile posts along with Boeckmann, the owner of Galpin Motors in North Hills, who has served 14 years on the panel under Mayors Tom Bradley and Richard Riordan.

“I wanted to make sure that we had experience as well as diversity represented here,” Hahn said at his first City Hall news conference since his inauguration last week. “We need people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work.”

All five appointments are subject to City Council approval.

The commission is the official head of the Los Angeles Police Department, making policy and overseeing the police chief. The panel must grapple with a department under siege, struggling with low officer morale, the fallout from the Rampart corruption scandal and the oversight of federal authorities under a reform consent decree.

The panel also has the key role on appointing and reappointing the chief. The current term of Chief Bernard Parks expires a year from now. He is eligible to apply for one more five-year term.

Saucedo, 27, an associate at the firm of Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott, is a newcomer to city government, but the others have been closely involved with Los Angeles municipal affairs.

Caruso, 42, was appointed by Bradley to the Board of Water and Power Commissioners, and under Riordan he became president of that panel. Riordan appointed him to the Harbor Commission, but he was rejected by the council. Riordan also offered him a Police Commission post earlier this year after the then-mayor fired commission president Gerald Chaleff, but Caruso at that time declined. He currently remains on the Water and Power board.

A graduate of USC and Pepperdine University School of Law, Caruso became a member of the State Bar in 1983. But several years before that he launched his own development firm, and today Santa Monica-based Caruso Affiliated Holdings is well-known for upscale shopping developments in Calabasas, and elsewhere around the county. His firm is currently working on an expansion at Farmers Market at Beverly and Fairfax.

As president of the Water and Power board, Caruso several years ago was sharply criticized for his support of plans to develop the area around Chatsworth Reservoir. He later agreed to a plan to preserve the open area.

He is a Westside resident.

Cunningham, 46, is a land use and redevelopment lawyer, and knows Caruso from the days when both were associates at the now-defunct Finley, Kumble law firm. A registered lobbyist with the city, he is the son of former councilman Dave Cunningham.

The younger Cunningham currently is of counsel to Jackson and Associates.

Cunningham has served as a trial attorney in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division Honors Program. He is a graduate of USC and earned his law degree from New York Law School. He became a member of the State Bar in 1983.

He lives in Baldwin Hills.

Ochi, 62, a former teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District, directed the city’s Criminal Justice planning office under Bradley, and remained in the role into the first year of the Riordan administration. She was also director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service from 1997-2001 and served as associate director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

She graduated from UCLA and Loyola Law School, and became a member of the State Bar in 1972. She lives downtown.

Saucedo went to UCLA and earned her law degree from University of Washington School of Law. She grew up in the Pico-Union area and now lives in Los Feliz.

The city charter imposes a maximum of two five-year terms on members of the police commission, which seemed on its face to rule out Boeckmann, whose second term expired June 30.

But Hahn chief deputy Tim McOsker said Boeckmann’s tenure could be counted only since 1993, when Charter Amendment F was adopted and put in place the limits. That partial term expired in 1996, McOsker said, and Boeckmann was then reappointed to a full five-year term.

Now, McOsker said, Boeckmann is eligible for reappointment to a two-year stint under the charter provision that allows members to serve two years or less of an unexpired term in addition to the two full five-year terms.


Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company