Andrea Alarcon to leave post for unspecified period of time
There's been no word from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s top appointee on the Board of Public Works after her leave-of-absence announcement in the wake of a child endangerment investigation.
Villaraigosa announced Thursday that Andrea Alarcon, 33, would take a leave of absence from her $130,000-a-year job after her 11-year-old daughter was found unattended Nov. 16 at City Hall.
Alarcon did not turn up until about 2 a.m., after her daughter had been taken to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Division station, according to sources familiar with the investigation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the probe is ongoing.
Villaraigosa has said he does not think Alarcon should resign.
Mayoral spokesman Peter Sanders said in an email that Alarcon’s leave will last for an unspecified period and be paid from her sick time. No charges have been filed, and Alarcon has not been arrested.
The announcement came after Alarcon released a statement saying she had "decided to seek professional help and treatment,” adding that her daughter is her “top priority and nothing could be more important” than her well-being.
Neither Villaraigosa nor Alarcon specified what type of help she is seeking; Alarcon asked the media to respect her family’s privacy “during this difficult time.”
As he scooped candied yams onto paper plates for Thanksgiving dinner at the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles, Villaraigosa said, “My only comment is that both she and her daughter [and] her dad are in my prayers.”
Alarcon is the daughter of longtime Los Angeles City Councilman Richard Alarcon, who is being prosecuted by Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley’s office in a case involving whether or not the councilman lied about living in a house in Panorama City.
Andrea Alarcon is already facing one charge related to child endangerment in a separate case in San Bernardino County after she was arrested in December on suspicion of drunk driving.
Authorities allege she showed “signs of intoxication” while in her car with a child. She was later charged with drunk driving and committing cruelty to a child by endangering her health, according to the complaint. Alarcon pleaded not guilty.
-- David Zahniser and Corina Knoll
Photo: Andrea Alarcon, president of the L.A. Board of Public Works, last year. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times