Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Board of Supervisors Approves Andrea Ordin as County Counsel
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved the appointment of former federal, state and local prosecutor and former Los Angeles County Bar Association President Andrea S. Ordin as county counsel.
Ordin—currently senior counsel in the Los Angeles office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP and vice president of the Los Angeles Police Commission—is now poised to become the first woman to become the county’s top lawyer, effective Feb. 1.
She is set to replace Robert E. Kalunian, who has served as acting county counsel since the retirement of Raymond G. Fortner. Kalunian told the MetNews last week that he will be returning to the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office.
Ordin, who served as LACBA president from 1991 to 1992, will receive an annual salary of $295,000 and oversee a staff of more than 250 lawyers providing legal services to the supervisors and county departments.
The position represents the latest in a series of high-profile, and sometimes groundbreaking, government jobs during Ordin’s 43-year career as an attorney.
She attended college and law school at UCLA and then handled civil, criminal and constitutional cases in the California Attorney General’s Office before serving briefly as LACBA’s executive director in the 1970s.
In 1975, then-Los Angeles County District Attorney John Van de Kamp named her the first female assistant district attorney, the office’s third-highest job, and two years later then-President Jimmy Carter appointed Ordin as the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California.
Ordin was the first woman to serve in the post and the third to serve as a U.S. attorney in the country. She rejoined Van de Kamp after he became California attorney general in 1983, and served as chief assistant attorney general in charge of the Public Rights Division. The division is responsible for all environmental, consumer, anti-trust, charitable trust and civil rights litigation for the state.
Ordin has also been deeply involved in oversight of the Los Angeles Police Department. In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, she was named to the Christopher Commission, which investigated the factors that led to the beating of Rodney King and subsequent uprising.
In 2005, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa appointed Ordin to the Police Commission, the five-member civilian board that oversees LAPD policy and practices, and she was elected vice president of the commission earlier this year.
Ordin’s current practice is focused on complex business and environmental litigation, appellate litigation and internal corporate investigations. A former adjunct professor at UCLA’s law school, she is also a frequent author and panelist for continuing legal education programs.
Copyright 2009, Metropolitan News Company