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City Hall East to be renamed after former L.A. Mayor Hahn

February 7, 2012 |  5:00 pm

Former Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn, right, shakes hands with current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during a ceremony where Hahn's official portrait was unveiled in the City Council Chambers at City Hall in 2007. Credit: Richard Hartog / Los Angeles Times

City Hall East, the boxier and less beguiling building across the street from L.A.'s City Hall, will soon be renamed the "James K. Hahn City Hall East."

Hahn, who served as mayor, city attorney and controller during his long political career in Los Angeles, is the only person to have held all three elected citywide offices. In a unanimous vote on Tuesday, the City Council voted to rename the building in his honor to pay tribute to a man who they said was devoted to serving the public.

"I do think this is the least we can do for someone who has donated so much of his life to us," said Councilman Richard Alarcon, one of 14 council members who supported the measure. He continued: "There are those who would say he was not the greatest mayor, but I would say he was a great public servant."

Hahn left the mayor’s office after one term in 2005, when he was defeated by Antonio Villaraigosa.

The motion to rename the building was sponsored last year by several lawmakers, including Hahn's sister, former City Councilwoman Janice Hahn. She introduced the motion in one of her last acts before she departed for Washington after winning a congressional seat in a special election.

William Carter, chief deputy to City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, said her motion was not a conflict of interest because James Hahn does not stand to benefit monetarily by having the building named after him. Hahn is now a Superior Court judge.

Their father, Kenneth Hahn, is already immortalized with his own building, L.A. County's Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration. He was a member of the Board of Supervisors for 40 years.

City Councilman Eric Garcetti noted that the buildings would soon be linked by the Civic Park, which is still under construction. Once it is finished, he said, people will be able to "walk from one Hahn to another."

Hahn's former chief of staff, Tim McOsker, has pledged to privately raise the money that will be needed to help pay for the renaming.

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-- Kate Linthicum at Los Angeles City Hall

Twitter.com/katelinthicum

Photo: Former Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn, right, shakes hands with current Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa during a ceremony in which Hahn's official portrait was unveiled in the City Council Chambers in 2007. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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