Nearly 20 applicants, including some of Los Angeles' best-known lawyers,
are seeking to oversee the most sweeping set of reforms ever imposed on
the Los Angeles Police Department, sources said Tuesday.
Officials from the city and the U.S. Department of Justice are expected
to spend the next few weeks reviewing the applications to find the person--or
team of people--best suited to monitor the LAPD's progress in implementing
the wide range of fixes outlined in a recently filed federal consent decree.
The applicants, who were required to submit letters of interest by Tuesday
afternoon, include a number of former members of the U.S. attorney's
office and people with long histories of investigating police abuse cases,
Although city officials have refused to release the names of the people
expressing interest in the job, sources said applicants include attorney
Andrea Sheridan Ordin, a former U.S. attorney under President Carter and
member of the Christopher Commission, which investigated the LAPD after
the Rodney G. King beating.
Ordin is applying as part of a team that includes Michael Strumwasser and
According to sources, attorney Robert C. Bonner, a former federal prosecutor
who served as head of the Drug Enforcement Administration during the elder
George Bush's presidency, has expressed interest in serving. He would
oversee a team that would include attorney Richard Mosk and former county
Supervisor Ed Edelman, sources said.
After stepping down from the post in the Bush administration, Bonner returned
to Los Angeles in 1993 to handle high-profile criminal cases. He was one
of the attorneys representing Heidi Fleiss during her trial on money laundering
and tax evasion charges.
Mosk, another longtime lawyer, was a member of the Warren Commission that
probed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and of the Christopher
Commission. Mosk also served as chairman of the Motion Picture Assn. of
America's Classification and Ratings Administration Board. He is the
son of California Supreme Court Justice Stanley Mosk.
Also applying for the position is attorney Stephen Yagman, who has sparred
with the city on a number of police abuse cases over the years.
Yagman is considered a longshot for the job because of a provision in the
decree that disqualifies people who have sued the city.
Once in place, the monitor will have broad access to LAPD employees and
records and will write quarterly reports, updating the judge and the public
on the city's progress toward complying with the requirements in the
The Los Angeles City Council approved the consent decree in November under
pressure from the Justice Department, which threatened to file a lawsuit
against the city alleging that the LAPD engaged in a "pattern or
practice" of civil rights violations.
Although officials are moving forward to find a monitor, they are waiting
for a federal court judge to sign off on the decree. Federal court Judge
Garry Feess has so far declined to formalize the pact, because he wants
clarification on a number of issues, including what role he will have
in selecting the monitor.
Meanwhile, two council members said they still hold out hope that Los Angeles
can get out of the federal consent decree. Councilman Rudy Svorinich Jr.
said he plans to introduce a motion this week that would rescind the council's
approval of the decree