Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Former Los Angeles Mayor Hahn Seeks Appointment to Bench
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has forwarded the name of former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn to the State Bar Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation as a possible appointee to the Los Angeles Superior Court, a source close to the process told the MetNews Friday.
Hahn, 57, served as the city’s 40th mayor from 2001 to 2005, after serving four terms as Los Angeles city attorney, and one term as city controller.
He joined private conflict resolution provider Alternative Resolution Centers LLC’s panel of neutrals in January, and a release by ARC at the time credited him with reducing crime, reinstating the community policing program, and markedly improving police department morale during his tenure as mayor.
As mayor, Hahn also led the effort to defeat secession in the San Fernando Valley, Hollywood and San Pedro, and led mayors statewide in negotiating with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and passing measure 1A protecting local government revenues in 2004, the firm noted.
Hahn graduated from Pepperdine University in 1972, and then attended the university’s law school, graduating in 1975. He was admitted to the State Bar of California that year, and began his career as a prosecutor in the City Attorney’s Office.
He entered private practice in 1979, but returned to public service in 1981 when he was elected to become the city’s fifth, and youngest, controller.
In 1985, he was elected as city attorney where he pioneered the use of civil injunctions against street gangs and drug dealers, created the citywide nuisance abatement program, and sponsored numerous laws dealing with domestic violence and gang violence. Hahn went on to serve a record 16 years in the office until his 2001 election as mayor.
After he was defeated in his 2005 bid for re-election as mayor by current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Hahn became managing director and partner at Chadwick Saylor & Company, a real estate investment banking and capital management firm with offices in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
If he joined the bench, Hahn would be the first former Los Angeles mayor to join the Los Angeles Superior Court since Fletcher Bowron.
Bowron, who lost his bid for reelection as mayor in 1953 after having survived a number of recall attempts, was elected to the Superior Court in 1956, and served one term before retiring in 1962.
The four-term mayor had also served on the court for the 12 years immediately before becoming mayor in 1938. Then-Gov. Friend Richardson appointed Bowron to the court in 1926, where the jurist gained note as the first on the West Coast to use the pre-trial calendar system.
Similarly, Hahn would not be the first superior court judge in his family. His cousin, Dale A. Hahn, served on the San Mateo Superior Court from 1987 to 2004.
James Hahn’s father, Kenneth Hahn, served on the Los Angeles City Council and on the county Board of Supervisors for a record 40 years. Hahn’s uncle, Gordon Hahn, was a state assemblyman and a Los Angeles councilman and another uncle, John Hahn, was assistant county clerk.
His sister, Janice Hahn, serves on the Los Angeles City Council.
Copyright 2008, Metropolitan News Company