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Reddock withdraws nomination to Los Angeles pension board

November 20, 2009 |  6:25 pm
The newest appointee to a Los Angeles pension board has withdrawn her nomination after a city councilman voiced concern about her refusal to name her legal clients, city officials said today.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa had named attorney Angela Reddock to the Fire and Police Pensions system, an agency whose board members have come under scrutiny in recent months regarding the potential for conflicts of interest.

Although council members were scheduled to vote to confirm Reddock today, Councilman Bernard C. Parks raised questions after reading correspondence between Reddock and the city Ethics Commission, which is charged with identifying potential conflicts of interest for new city commissioners. Reddock told the commission in an e-mail that she did not plan to name any client that had paid her more than $10,000, citing attorney-client privilege.

State regulations allow the information to be withheld by Reddock, who has promised not to participate in any pension board decision that would involve one of her clients. Nevertheless, Parks spokesman Domingo Orosco said his boss did not feel comfortable recommending her to the pension board until she had submitted more documentation.

“If she reapplies and submits her paperwork, that would be fine,” Orosco said.

Neither Reddock nor a Villaraigosa spokeswoman immediately responded to requests for comment.

The issue of potential conflicts of interest has been a pressing one at Fire and Police Pensions in recent months.  The Times reported today that former board member Elliott Broidy voted to invest $30 million in 2007 in a fund managed by CIM Group, a company that had invested $500,000 in his own.

Although CIM’s investment represented a tiny portion of Broidy’s fund, the city’s lawyers considered the potential for a conflict great enough that they urged the Fire and Police Pensions board on Thursday to cast a new vote on CIM – one that did not involve Broidy. The board also cast a second vote on another decision involving a possible conflict of interest.

Disclosure of legal clients was also a major issue in this year’s race for city attorney. Councilman Jack Weiss frequently criticized his opponent, Carmen Trutanich, for refusing to disclose the names of his legal clients. Weiss warned that Trutanich would need to repeatedly recuse himself, forcing the city to hire costly outside law firms.

Trutanich, who won the election, said that in cases where he has a conflict, he would turn matters over to another attorney in his office.

-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall