For the second time in a year, Los Angeles (CA) Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has rejected the person picked to run the pension system for police officers and firefighters, reports the Los Angeles Times.
In a tersely worded letter, Villaraigosa informed the nine-member Fire and Police Pensions board last week that he had vetoed their decision to hire William Raggio, who is favored by representatives of the city’s sworn employees.
Villaraigosa gave no explanation for opposition to Raggio, who has been running the system for nearly a year and has been rejected twice by the mayor. One pension board member accused the mayor of politicizing their recruitment efforts and pushing for someone who will be less independent.
“He’s supposed to rely on us to go through this process, which we’ve done twice now,” said George Aliano, a retired police officer. “We went through the interviews and the applications and all that stuff, and still he’s not accepting it. So this is a sham.”
The Fire and Police Pensions board will meet Thursday to figure out what to do next, Aliano said. The board has split representation, with five of its nine members chosen by the mayor and the other four elected by a mix of current and retired public safety employees.
“I wish I could tell you exactly what the game plan was, but we don’t have one right now,” said pension board member Ruben Navarro, who was elected to the panel by city firefighters. He called Villaraigosa’s veto disappointing.
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