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Former Villaraigosa aide joins law firm to handle renewable energy business

September 21, 2009 |  3:36 pm

One of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s recently departed advisers has secured a job handling renewable energy business for an international law firm.

The mayor's former deputy chief of staff Dan Grunfeld stepped down from his post Friday. Today, the law firm of Kaye Scholer announced that Grunfeld, 49, will work in its Los Angeles office representing clients in such fields as green technology, alternative energy and compliance with environmental laws.

Villaraigosa has promised to make Los Angeles “the greenest big city in America” by pushing the Department of Water and Power toward more solar, wind and geothermal energy. Grunfeld, who spent two years as the mayor’s No. 2 policy adviser, said he is excited to work on alternative energy matters but does not expect that the firm’s work will intersect with the city of Los Angeles.

“They have an international practice when it comes to green technology and green development,” he said.

Kaye Scholer boasts on its website that it is one of the nation’s leading practices devoted to wind power and renewable energy transactions. Grunfeld, who will co-chair the firm’s litigation department, will also focus on healthcare and venture capital, the announcement said.

The DWP has been purchasing renewable power from various sources and has completed one wind farm, known as Pine Tree. The utility also has been considering a lawsuit against the city of Vernon to obtain property in Kern County that is considered a prime spot for a wind farm.

-- David Zahniser at L.A. City Hall