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L.A. City Council rejects new post for former assemblyman at port

May 7, 2009 |  8:32 am
The City Council on Wednesday rejected a request by the mayor to create a new top management position at the Port of Los Angeles for former Assemblyman Wally Knox.

The proposed position of deputy executive director of external relations would have had an annual salary of $205,000. Councilwoman Janice Hahn said she had trouble approving such a highly paid new position one day after the council voted to start the process to lay off up to 400 city workers because of the city's $530-million budget shortfall.

"I like Wally Knox, it's not about Wally Knox," Hahn said after the council's 14-to-0 vote. "This just is not the right time to be doing this."

Knox stepped down from his position on the city's Department of Water and Power Commission in April after the mayor offered him the job at the port.

Some council members said they wanted a more detailed explanation from the mayor's office and port officials on why the position was needed, and they appeared open to having the mayor resubmit his request for the post.

-- Phil Willon