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Dodgers beef up front office with City Hall connections

September 10, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Renata Simril is the Dodgers' new senior vice president of external affairs.
Renata Simril is the Dodgers' new senior vice president of external… (Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)

Looks like the new Dodgers owners want a cozy relationship with downtown political types.

On Monday they added two new members to their front office staff, both veterans of City Hall politics.

Renata Simril is the Dodgers' new senior vice president of external affairs, and Rafael Gonzalez is the team’s new director of community relations.

Simril kinda, sorta takes over Howard Sunkin’s vacant old position. Sunkin’s title was senior vice president of public affairs, and although he did deal with downtown officials, he evolved more into Frank McCourt’s No.1 assistant. Simril will not oversee the Dodgers Dream Foundation, which is where Sunkin – who left the team when it was sold and said he has since lost approximately 40 pounds – and the Dodgers got into trouble with the state attorney general’s office.

Simril is a former deputy mayor under Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn. She was most recently a managing director at Jones Lang LaSalle, an international commercial real estate firm, responsible for the financial and professional services in the firm’s public institutions division.

Gonzalez served as a senior member of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s staff and was most recently responsible for leading his civic initiatives.

Smiril figures to act as a key go-between with Dodgers and downtown when they start plans to remodel Dodger Stadium.

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