Geoffrey L. Garfield, a political consultant who helped run the campaign against Charter Amendment F, the police reform measure, has joined the Administration of Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan as an assistant deputy mayor for public safety.
Garfield will assist William Violante, the former head of the police officers' union, who earlier was hired by Riordan as a deputy mayor to work with the police and fire departments.
The hiring of Garfield intensified the criticism of some police reform advocates, who said that Violante's past opposition to the charter amendment called into question the Riordan Administration's commitment to police reform.
Ramona Ripston, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California, said Garfield's appointment "means that the statements that Mayor Riordan has made in favor of police reforms don't hold true."
Violante selected Garfield for the post and a spokesman said Riordan "has complete confidence and trust in staffing decisions by his deputy mayors."
As union head, Violante last year hired Garfield, then a New York-based political consultant, to help run the organization's campaign against the ballot measure.
Despite the campaign by the Police Protective League, Charter Amendment F was approved. An outgrowth of the Christopher Commission's work in the wake of the Rodney G. King beating, it instituted a term limit for the chief of police and other reforms.
Garfield said the union campaigned against the measure because of questions about some of its disciplinary provisions and concerns that it was being oversold to the public as a panacea for all the troubles within the Los Angeles Police Department.
Garfield said Tuesday that he and the rest of the Administration are committed to all of the charter amendment reforms--even those previously opposed by the union.
"We not only have to live with it," Garfield said, "we have to implement it. We are 100% behind what was approved by the voters."
While in New York, Garfield said, he was associated with many progressive, Democratic campaigns, including an effort to have a panel of citizens review complaints about police officers. Garfield worked for New York state Sen. David A. Paterson, whom Garfield described as a leader in the campaign for a citizen review board in New York City.