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Andrea Alarcon resigns powerful L.A. Board of Public Works post

January 18, 2013 |  1:34 pm

Andrea Alarcon in the Los Angeles Board of Public Works boardroom in August 2011. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Board of Public Works President Andrea Alarcon announced Friday that she is resigning from her post, and she apologized for what she described as "the missteps of my past."

Police have been investigating Alarcon, 33, on suspicion of child endangerment after her 11-year-old daughter was found unattended at City Hall on the night of Nov. 16. She also is facing separate child-endangerment and drunk-driving charges in San Bernardino County.

Alarcon, an appointee of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, did not mention either incident specifically in her announcement, saying instead that she had learned "difficult lessons."

"I understand and have prayed deeply on the gravity of my actions. I have profound regret for the missteps of my past and apologize to the Mayor, Council, Department of Public Works, the city family and the residents of Los Angeles," she said in a statement.

"I am grateful for the difficult lessons that I have learned and am now healthier and stronger," she said. "Through this experience, I have been reminded of my most important job -- being a mom. I look forward to the next chapter in my life dedicated to my family and my daughter. I ask that our privacy be respected as we continue to heal. It has been an honor and privilege to serve this great city."

Alarcon went on a leave of absence in the wake of the incident in November, saying she was seeking professional help.

Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey's office determined that the matter being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department did not rise to the level of a felony and forwarded it to City Atty. Carmen Trutanich. Trutanich's office said recently it would likely send the matter to state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris because Alarcon, as a city employee, is a client.

Alarcon’s father, City Councilman Richard Alarcon, said his daughter did not receive a special severance package and was under no pressure from Villaraigosa to leave her $130,000-a-year post.

"As a father, it gives me pride to know when your kids make a misstep, they can recover," he said. "And as a father, I'm relieved that she's getting out of the glass house and I'm very excited about her future.”

Alarcon's last day of city employment is set for Wednesday.

Villaraigosa said in a statement that Alarcon was "tireless" in her work at the Board of Public Works, which handles such issues as trash pickup, street repair, sidewalk maintenance and sewer systems.

"I am encouraged by her commitment to addressing personal issues that have surfaced in recent months and know that she is already on a good path forward," the mayor said.


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-- David Zahniser and Catherine Saillant



Photo: Andrea Alarcon in the Los Angeles Board of Public Works boardroom in August 2011. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times