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Hahn Port Appointee, Policy Aide Subpoenaed

The federal court orders are issued in connection with a probe of the city's contracting practices.

April 29, 2004|Jessica Garrison and Noam N. Levey | Times Staff Writers

The U.S. attorney's office has issued subpoenas to one of Mayor James K. Hahn's policy analysts and to a member of the Harbor Commission as part of the ongoing investigations into contracting at Los Angeles' airport, port and water and power departments.

Wendy Wang, who works on port policy for the mayor, Wednesday became the second member of his staff to receive a subpoena in those investigations. The other was Deputy Mayor Troy Edwards, who oversaw the port before he announced his resignation. He was called to testify earlier this year before a county grand jury.

Also subpoenaed this week was James Acevedo, a developer and fundraiser whom Hahn appointed to the Harbor Commission last year. Acevedo also has helped elect several local politicians, including City Council President Alex Padilla and Councilman Tony Cardenas.

Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley and U.S. Atty. Debra Yang have been gathering contracting documents and calling witnesses before grand juries for months amid accusations that contracts have been issued in exchange for campaign contributions.

The prosecutors have been subpoenaing port officials since last month, when port Executive Director Larry Keller, his secretary and other officials were called to testify. The U.S. attorney's office also has demanded Keller's phone records, calendars and other documents. And it has asked city officials to preserve electronic communications with the mayor's office.

Acevedo is the first port commissioner to be called, according to the mayor's office.

Deputy Mayor Julie Wong said Wednesday that Hahn's office continues to cooperate with the investigations and that Wang will testify when called.

When contacted Wednesday evening, Acevedo, who said he had just returned from a business trip, said: "Don't know anything about it." Port spokeswoman Theresa Adams Lopez said federal authorities delivered the subpoena to the port Tuesday and that Acevedo was supposed to appear before the federal grand jury at 9 a.m. today.

The U.S. attorney's office said it could not comment on the investigation.

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