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LOS ANGELES

Council OKs Garcetti for Ethics Panel

September 11, 2002|MASSIE RITSCH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Los Angeles City Council unanimously confirmed former L.A. County Dist. Atty. Gil Garcetti on Tuesday as the first elected official to serve on the city's 11-year-old Ethics Commission.

During Garcetti's appearance before the City Council, on which his son is a member, Councilman Nate Holden strongly denounced the Ethics Commission as racist.

Holden, who has been fined $34,000 for campaign finance violations, joined several other council members in praising Garcetti as an impartial addition to the semi-independent panel responsible for monitoring lobbyists and politicians' fund-raising, but he accused the commission and its staff of harassing and intimidating officials and their campaign contributors.

"When you look at the record of that commission, it appears they almost selectively--selectively--go after minorities," said Holden, who is black. He represents the Crenshaw area, Koreatown and Wilshire Center and must leave office next year because of term limits.

"The commission's record and Mr. Holden's record speak for themselves," said LeeAnn Pelham, the Ethics Commission's executive director. "It's sad that Mr. Holden feels the need to express his anger in such an irresponsible way."Garcetti, who was district attorney for eight years before losing a reelection bid in 2000, responded Tuesday that he would keep Holden's complaints in mind.

"I think I can bring a fresh perspective and maybe some common sense" to the commission, he said.

Garcetti's son, Eric, a city councilman representing Hollywood and neighboring areas, recused himself Tuesday from voting on his father's appointment. His father said he will recuse himself from any matters involving his son.

Council President Alex Padilla nominated Gil Garcetti to serve a five-year term on the five-member Ethics Commission. To fill the commission's remaining vacancy, City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo has nominated Uri Herscher, a rabbi and president and chief executive of the Skirball Cultural Center.

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