L.A. Councilman Alarcon defends daughter's parenting
The father of Los Angeles Board of Public Works President Andrea Alarcon said Friday that he was proud of his daughter's efforts as a parent and declared that she has his "full support" in the wake of media reports that she is being investigated on suspicion of child endangerment.
Alarcon, an appointee of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, went on a leave of absence after The Times reported that her 11-year-old daughter was found unattended on Nov. 16 about 11:45 p.m. at City Hall. Alarcon did not turn up until about 2 a.m., according to sources familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.
Alarcon said Thursday that she was seeking "professional help and treatment" but did not provide details. On Friday, her father, City Councilman Richard Alarcon, issued a statement saying he was proud of his daughter's ability to "balance single parenting with an intense professional career." He also characterized the relationship between his daughter and granddaughter as "beautiful."
"Obviously, as a father, I am concerned about the recent reports in the media about my daughter. As a family, we take these matters very seriously and are supporting Andrea and my granddaughter through this difficult time. I do not believe these incidents have affected Andrea's job performance. She is recognized as an amazing talent at City Hall. But I am pleased that Andrea is seeking the professional help she needs to resolve these matters."
A Cooley spokeswoman confirmed that an investigation regarding Alarcon had been referred to her office but said prosecutors requested more evidence before determining whether to file any charges.
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.
Alarcon's daughter was found the same night that City Hall played host to a party thrown by Project Restore, a group devoted to the restoration of city-owned landmarks. Ed Avila, president of Project Restore, said that Andrea Alarcon has a seat on his group's board as a result of her position with the Board of Public Works.
Avila said he saw Alarcon at the group's 2012 Los Angeles Heritage Awards Gala, which was held in the City Hall rotunda and on the building's Spring Street entrance. However, he said he never saw Alarcon's daughter.
The gala honored Villaraigosa, who appointed Alarcon to her $130,000-per-year post in 2009.
-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Halltwitter.com/DavidZahniser
Photo: Andrea and Richard Alarcon at a campaign stop in Pacoima in 2005. Credit: Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times