Wednesday, November 18, 2015
Supervisors Name Mary Wickham Permanent County Counsel
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors yesterday named Mary Wickham county counsel, a position she has held on an interim basis for the past five months, sources told the MetNews.
The selection was made in closed session, and the board was still in closed session at press time and said to be discussing Wickham’s salary.
Wickham, 51, received the interim appointment June 16, four days after Mark Saladino resigned abruptly. Saladino held the job for eight months before returning to the Treasurer/Tax Collector Office, which he had previously headed.
At the time of her appointment, Wickham was serving as executive director of the County Equity Oversight Panel. She had been appointed to that position on an interim basis at the beginning of 2013 and on a permanent basis in May of last year.
At the time of her appointment to the oversight post, the county Chief Executive Office noted that Wickham had more than 25 years of experience in public sector employment law, including nearly 18 litigating employment cases for the county.
Wickham is a public administration graduate of USC and earned her law degree from Whittier College in 1989.
Wickham has recently been advising the board with regard to two high-profile issues—a controversial proposal to publicize the names and booking photos of those convicted of soliciting prostitution or loitering with intent to solicit prostitution, and a potential ban on rave dances at county facilities, after three young people suffered drug-related deaths at such events in the past two years.
Her salary as interim county counsel has been $21,667 monthly—up from less than $16,000 in her previous post but well below the nearly $25,000 monthly paid to Saladino in his short tenure.
She is the ninth person to occupy the post of county counsel on either an interim or permanent basis since DeWitt Clinton retired in 1998 after 15 years in the position.
Clinton was succeeded by Lloyd W. “Bill” Pellman, who retired in 2004 and was succeeded by his chief deputy, Raymond G. Fortner Jr.
Fortner stepped down in 2009, and Robert Kalunian, a top deputy in the Public Defender’s Office, was brought in on an interim basis. He held the post until Andrea Ordin, the first woman to serve as county counsel, was hired in January 2010.
Ordin resigned in February 2012, and was succeeded by John Krattli, who retired in July of last year. Krattli’s chief deputy, Richard Weiss, then filled the post for 10 weeks until Saladino took over in October of last year.
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