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President of L.A. police panel resigns

Anthony Pacheco, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, unexpectedly announced his resignation today, saying he needed to return full-time to his job at a large law firm.

In a letter sent last week to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who appoints the members of the LAPD's civilian oversight body, Pacheco said he would step down July 1 after four years as a commissioner. For the past two years, Pacheco has led the panel as president.

In that time, he established himself as a cautious -- some would say too cautious -- but firm, unflappable hand, guiding the commission through sometimes delicate and sensitive debates over police policies and controversies.

A familiar face at police station roll calls, crime scenes and community meetings, Pacheco took an active approach to the job. He told Villaraigosa he was "proud of the progress" the commission has made during his tenure.

He focused in particular, he said, on moving the department closer to the completion of a set of reforms called for under the federal consent decree that was imposed after the Rampart corruption scandal.

Citing several time-consuming assignments he holds at his law firm, Proskauer Rose, Pacheco said the time had come to "return to my work at Proskauer on a full-time basis."

-- Joel Rubin

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