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Villaraigosa appoints former assistant U.S. attorney to LAPD oversight panel

March 15, 2010 |  1:54 pm

Richard Drooyan. Credit: Paul Morse / Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on Monday tapped Richard Drooyan, a former assistant U.S. attorney, to fill a vacant seat on the civilian body that oversees the Los Angeles Police Department.

The nomination to the Los Angeles Police Commission marks a return to LAPD issues for the 59-year-old Drooyan. In 1991, he provided legal counsel to the Christopher Commission, which recommended sweeping reforms to the LAPD following the Rodney King beating.

Nearly a decade later, Drooyan led a group formed by city officials in the wake of the Rampart police scandal and was given the task of recommending further reforms to the LAPD.

In a brief interview, Drooyan said “the department has made a lot of strides and is much different” from its troubled past. He said he had no preconceived notions about issues he believes need attention today.

The mayor’s choice must be approved by the City Council, which is not expected to raise any significant objections. If confirmed, Drooyan will join a five-person panel charged with setting policy for the department and overseeing its operations.

He would fill a seat vacated by Andrea Ordin, who stepped down recently to take a post in L.A. County government. Drooyan currently is a partner in the law firm of Munger, Tolles and Olsen, where he manages civil litigation and white-collar criminal defense cases.

Previously, the Harvard Law School graduate served for several years in the United States attorney’s office. He rose to the position of chief assistant U.S. attorney in the Central District of California and also headed the criminal division there.

Villaraigosa touted Drooyan in a statement, saying he “brings to the Police Commission experience as a seasoned and proven federal prosecutor.”

-- Joel Rubin

Photo: Richard Drooyan. Credit: Paul Morse / Los Angeles Times

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