Rich Llewellyn Appointed as Los Angeles Administrative Official

Los Angeles

Hollywood resident Rich Llewellyn has had an extensive career in Los Angeles politics. Over the past 25 years, Mr. Llewellyn served as aides to former Los Angeles County District Attorney Gil Garcetti, as well as Garcetti's son Eric, who is now mayor of the city. From 2001-2005, he was Mayor Garcetti's chief of staff, and, later, his in-house council. Recently, Mr. Llewellyn has been a city administrative officer.
Now, he may be about to add a new position to his resume. Mayor Garcetti has appointed Mr. Llewellyn to become city administrative officer, or CAO. This position is in charge of the city's budget, as well as labor negotiations with the unions that represent Los Angeles public employees. The duties also include advising the mayor on improvements to Los Angeles infrastructure, as well as efforts to combat homelessness.
Before Mr. Llewellyn can formally assume the role, however, the City Council has a period of up to 45 days to approve Mayor Garcetti's decision. There is already some controversy. Jay Handal, who serves as co-chairman of the Los Angeles Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates, offered his opinion on the matter. Mr. Handal stated that the CAO position should not be one with such a close, pre-existing relationship to the mayor. He described the long national search for a new CAO as merely "cosmetic." Mayor Garcetti commented that Mr. Llewellyn has a political loyalty only to the residents of Los Angeles, and the city itself. A spokesman for Mayor Garcetti supported this by saying that council members were heavily involved in the decision-making process.
The other contender for the CAO position was Matt Szabo, who is the deputy chief of staff for Mayor Garcetti. The two men were interviewed by members of the City Council. A few hours after these interviews were completed, Mayor Garcetti announced his choice.