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Villaraigosa names new deputy chief of homeland security

September 17, 2009 | 12:12 pm

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today picked a veteran federal prosecutor to be the city’s new deputy mayor for homeland security and public safety.

His choice, Eileen Decker, currently serves as chief of national security for the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles, responsible for counter-terrorism and counterintelligence investigations and prosecutions.

As deputy mayor, she will oversee the mayor’s public safety initiatives, emergency preparedness and counter-terrorism policies. She also will administer $400 million in federal and state homeland security grants awarded to the city.

“She has a monumental task ahead of her, but I’m confident that Eileen will serve with the integrity that’s become the hallmark of her career,’’ Villaraigosa said this morning.

Decker replaces former Deputy Mayor Arif Alikhan, who left to join the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

-- Phil Willon