Gardena resident Robert S. Horii has been named Los Angeles city engineer by the Board of Public Works.
Horii, 53, is believed to be the first member of a minority group to hold the position. He will manage a staff of more than 1,000 employees responsible for carrying out all the city's public works projects.
Horii will assume the job May 5, succeeding Philip V. King, who is retiring. The position pays between $86,000 and $107,000 a year.
After attending Redondo Union High School and El Camino Community College, Horii transferred to UCLA where he earned a degree in civil engineering in 1953. He then went to work for the Department of Public Works as an assistant, working his way up to the position of chief deputy city engineer in 1982.
For the past seven years, Horii has been president of the Gardena Valley Japanese Cultural Institute.