Mayor Eric Garcetti appointed his one-time mayoral rival Kevin James to a key City Hall position Friday, giving him a job as a commissioner on the Board of Public Works. He also filled four other commissioner appointments and named a new deputy mayor.
James, who decried City Hall corruption and incompetence during his failed bid for Los Angeles mayor earlier this year, said he would focus on street improvements and sidewalks in his new position.
"It's a chance to get into the nitty gritty of the city," said James, who helped campaign for Garcetti after coming in third in the primary.
The former radio talk show host said he will resign from the Century City law firm where he works to take the commissioner job, which pays more than $136,000 a year. James said he is taking a pay cut to come to City Hall.
In addition to James, Garcetti announced four other Public Works board commissioner appointments.
The others are Mike Davis, the former state Assembly member; Monica Rodriguez, executive for the California Association of Realtors; Matt Szabo, a deputy under Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; and Barbara Romero; a Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority executive..
The commissioners meet three times a week at City Hall. They serve collectively as the general managers of the Department of Public
Works, which oversees city services such as lighting, beautification and street services.
Garcetti also announced the appointment of Rick Cole as deputy mayor of budget and innovation, a newly created position.
Cole, the former mayor of Pasadena, most recently served as the former interim chief operating officer at the nonprofit Local Government Commission.
In a statement, Garcetti said Cole "will be a critical asset to my agenda of balancing the budget and making City Hall work better."