Wednesday, May 5, 2004
Supervisors to Interview Five in Search for New County Counsel
Top Deputy to Pellman, Two Others Who Sought Job in 1998 Are Among Finalists
By DAVID WATSON, Staff Writer
Five finalists will be interviewed by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors to succeed County Counsel Lloyd W. “Bill” Pellman, who retired at the end of March, a county spokesperson said yesterday.
Among the five are Pellman’s top deputy, Raymond G. Fortner Jr., who has been filling in for him since his departure, and two other senior members of the office’s current staff. Fortner and two of the other candidates were finalists when Pellman was chosen in 1998 to succeed DeWitt Clinton, who retired after 15 years as the county’s top lawyer.
Along with Fortner, the finalists are: Assistant County Counsel Steven J. Carnevale; Anthony Ching, general counsel of Continental Carbon Company; Chief Deputy County Counsel Donovan Matthews Main; and Roberta M. Yang, Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn’s deputy mayor for public safety.
Yang and Main were finalists for the job when Pellman was selected. The spokesperson said county supervisors hope to complete interviews with the five candidates and make a selection by early next month.
There were 55 applicants for the job, she said, adding that preliminary interviews narrowed the field to eight. Two of those dropped out and one more was eliminated to produce the list of five.
Carnevale earned his law degree at Loyola and has been with the County Counsel’s Office since his law school graduation in 1973. Since 1998 he has been the chief lawyer for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Before being assigned to the MTA, Carnevale spent 13 years with the Public Services Division, which serves the county’s Departments of Health Services, Mental Health, Public Social Services, and Children and Family Services.
Ching has been with the Houston-based manufacturer since 2002. From 1997 to 2001 he was general counsel for semiconductor manufacturer WaferTech, headquartered in Camas, Washington.
For a decade before joining Wafertech he was a litigation partner, first with Graham and James and McKenna and Cuneo and then with Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe.
Main holds the same title with the County Counsel’s Office as Fortner. He is the top litigation deputy, while Fortner is the top administrator.
Main joined the office soon after earning his law degree from USC, becoming a chief deputy last year. He was assigned to the Schools Division as a deputy county counsel in 1976 and became principal deputy for that division in 1980.
He was promoted to assistant county counsel in 1984 and senior assistant county counsel in 1998.
Former State Bar Prosecutor
Yang was a special assistant city attorney when she was named a deputy mayor in 2001. From 1991 to 1998 she was a deputy chief trial counsel with the State Bar of California, with primary responsibility for managing a staff of 40 prosecutors and 50 investigators in Southern California.
She earned her law degree at the University of Houston and worked as an assistant district attorney and an assistant U.S. attorney in Houston before coming to Los Angeles as part of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section of the Department of Justice Los Angeles Strike Force in 1985.
Fortner earned his law degree from USC and has been with the County Counsel’s Office since 1970. He became the top deputy to Clinton in 1997 and remained in that role after Pellman’s selection.
His first supervisory role with the office came in 1984 with the Public Services Division. He was promoted to senior assistant county counsel in 1985, supervising approximately one-third of the office’s lawyers.
Copyright 2004, Metropolitan News Company