Following the lead of his mayoral opponent and all but one elected official in the city and county of Los Angeles, Mayor James K. Hahn on Friday afternoon released the calendar of his activities since he took office.
The mayor's decision came less than 3 1/2 weeks before he faces reelection May 17 against Councilman Antonio Villaraigosa, who on the campaign trail has repeatedly criticized Hahn's refusal to release the records. Earlier this week, a Villaraigosa supporter also threatened to sue Hahn to acquire the calendar.
The Times first requested the mayor's schedule more than 4 1/2 months ago under the state's Public Records Act.
With Hahn's announcement, county Supervisor Don Knabe is the only elected official in the county and city of Los Angeles who has not made his calendar public.
Knabe's office has not responded directly to inquiries from The Times, although in January the county counsel denied the request, citing exceptions to the Public Records Act.
The four other county supervisors, as well as Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, Sheriff Lee Baca and county Assessor Rick Auerbach, have agreed to release their schedules.
So too have all 15 Los Angeles City Council members, City Controller Laura Chick and City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.
Cooley said he "didn't think twice" about releasing his calendar. "I do work for the public. They gave me this job, and I think they have a right to know how I am discharging my duties."
Villaraigosa, who led Hahn by 18 points in the most recent Times poll, released his schedule earlier this month within weeks of being asked.
The mayor's office had said Hahn would not release his calendar out of concern that details of his activities could jeopardize his safety and that of his family.
None of the elected county and city law enforcement officials cited that issue, noting that any sensitive information could be easily edited.
Hahn spokeswoman Shannon Murphy said Friday that the mayor's office chose to eliminate the times he leaves and returns home. Murphy said the mayor did not decide to take that step until City Council members asked the city attorney whether to comply with requests from The Times to release their schedules.
On April 12, the city attorney advised them in a letter that it was up to each council member.
Villaraigosa campaign manager Ace Smith criticized the mayor's belated decision.
"It's a sad state of affairs that it took the threat of a lawsuit for him to release his calendar and comply with the state Constitution," Smith said.
Hahn's 167-page calendar shows that the mayor continually balanced his official duties with political events.
Hahn's first scheduled meeting -- four days after his July 2, 2001, inauguration -- was with his senior political advisor and fundraiser Bill Wardlaw, the schedule shows.
But as Hahn settled into office in 2001, the mayor's days filled with meetings with other elected leaders as well as business leaders, developers and labor leaders.
He attended budget meetings, groundbreaking ceremonies and luncheons with civic groups.
Miguel Contreras, head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, met regularly with Hahn, the schedules indicate. The union group endorsed Villaraigosa in the 2001 mayoral campaign but is backing Hahn this year.
The mayor's calendar also features visits from a steady stream of his campaign contributors.
Hahn scheduled two meetings in 2002 with Mark Alan Abrams, a Westside developer who in January was fined a record $270,000 for 48 violations of campaign law, including arranging illegal contributions to Hahn's 2001 mayoral campaign. In June 2003, Hahn also scheduled a trip to the Westside to visit a private school where Abrams served on the board and his son was a student.
Abrams, who also was a member of Hahn's executive committee of fundraisers, is now under federal investigation for possible mortgage fraud.
Hahn has denied knowledge of any illegal contributions.
The summer and fall of 2002 were also busy fundraising times for the mayor, as he campaigned to beat back San Fernando Valley secession, an accomplishment he frequently touts on the campaign trail.
As early as 2003, Hahn's schedules show, the mayor was also taking time to raise money and campaign for reelection.
More detailed 2003 schedules obtained earlier by The Times show that the mayor's staff frequently merged campaign memos into the city computer files.
Those documents, distributed by e-mail and hard copy to top aides, identified key contributors and fundraisers, including some who had business dealings with the city.
By last year, as Hahn was battling four well-known challengers, he stopped scheduling many meetings with people outside city government and blocked off hours for "call time" to raise money and rally supporters.
Villaraigosa's calendar showed a majority of his days in late 2004 and 2005 were reserved for campaign-related work.