Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Antonio Villaraigosa plans to announce major staff shake-up today

August 27, 2009 |  9:01 am

Mayor Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa plans to announce a major shake-up of his administration this morning, bidding farewell to his top policy advisor.

High-level officials in City Hall expect Villaraigosa to announce the departure of Chief of Staff Robin Kramer, who has run the mayor's shop since he took office in 2005.

Villaraigosa's office would not discuss the changes, to be announced at a 10:30 a.m. news conference. But speculation within City Hall is that Kramer will be replaced by the Rev. Jeff Carr, the anti-gang czar who has won praise for staging the Summer Night Lights recreation program in high-crime neighborhoods.

The mayor is also expected to bring on Jay Carson, the spokesman for U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential bid. Two years ago, the New York Observer portrayed Carson as "Hillary's hard-hitting hipster," a political operative in skinny jeans who hung out at Spy bar in New York.

Although the exact duties are still unclear, one possibility is that Carr would be the mayor's chief of staff and Carson would be chief deputy mayor. In that scenario, Carson would look at the mayor's big-picture agenda while Carr would handle day-to-day management.

Despite his work for Clinton, Carson has become known as an employee of billionaire Steve Bing, whose company hopes to develop a factory for the Italian rail car company AnsaldoBreda in downtown Los Angeles. The city's effort to complete that deal has not been consummated.

Villaraigosa easily could have run into Carson early this month at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. During that event, Carson was invited to the 63rd birthday party at Craftsteak for former President Clinton, one of the conference's speakers, according to the New York Times.

That was the same Las Vegas conference where TMZ photographed Villaraigosa and television reporter Lu Parker getting some sun at the topless pool of Caesar's Grand Palace.

-- David Zahniser and Phil Willon at City Hall

Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times