Tuesday, December 11, 2001
City Attorney’s Office Adds Chaleff to Help Trim Liability
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Criminal defense lawyer and former Police Commission President Gerald Chaleff said yesterday he will leave the private sector to join City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo to help trim city liabilities and lead a new risk management effort.
“I just looked at this time in history and where I am in my own life and I decided that I should do this,” Chaleff said. “Public service is important.”
Delgadillo called the addition of Chaleff to his staff “extraordinary.”
“Throughout his career, Mr. Chaleff has demonstrated an abiding dedication to public service and to the City of Los Angeles,” Delgadillo said in a statement.
The city attorney, who took office July 1, already has made good on vows to bring high-profile lawyers from private practice and other public agencies into his office, having hired former U.S. Attorney Terree Bowers as his top aide, former federal prosecutor George Cardona to lead his criminal division and O’Melveny & Myers partner Cheryl Mason to lead the civil litigation group.
But in Chaleff, he has landed one of the city’s most well-regarded senior lawyers and a specialist in City Hall operations.
As president of the Police Commission under Mayor Richard Riordan, Chaleff led the commission and the Los Angeles Police Department through perhaps their most difficult period in modern history. Officer morale and recruitment, and the image of the once-storied LAPD, plummeted in the wake of the so-called Rampart scandal.
Chaleff steered a course between a defensive Chief Bernard Parks and reformers anxious to revamp the LAPD, and led a negotiation team that hammered out a consent decree with federal officials for department reform.
But Riordan, claiming a failure in leadership, fired Chaleff earlier this year.
Chaleff also has served as a member of the city’s Ethics, Planning, and Information Technology commissions.
He said he was impressed by the new city attorney.
“I’ve gotten to know Rocky,” Chaleff said. “He’s been reaching out to bring in new people, and I’m looking forward to being a part of that.”
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company