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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Deputy mayor gets federal post

April 25, 2009|Phil Willon

One of the top law enforcement advisors to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has been appointed an assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the third senior member of Villaraigosa's administration to head to Washington since President Obama's election.

Arif Alikhan, the city's deputy mayor for homeland security and public safety, will join the federal agency's office of policy development. Alikhan, whom Villaraigosa appointed as a deputy mayor in 2006, previously worked for the U.S. Department of Justice overseeing the national computer hacking and intellectual property program.

Last week, Obama nominated Mercedes Marquez, general manager of the city's Housing Department, to become assistant secretary for community planning and development at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The deputy mayor who oversaw Villaraigosa's environment agency, Nancy Sutley, left earlier this year to work for Obama.

Alikhan "has been instrumental in advancing my administration's central priorities of preparing Los Angeles to respond to natural disasters and fight against the threat of terrorism, increasing public safety and putting 1,000 new LAPD officers on our streets," Villaraigosa said in a statement.

Alikhan is a graduate of UC Irvine and earned his law degree at Loyola Law School.

-- Phil Willon

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