Tuesday, January 26, 2010

New County Counsel to be Sworn in on Friday

          NEWS RELEASE


                                    Contact:  Judy Hammond, Director of Public Affairs, (213) 974-1363

        Brian Lew, Assistant Director, (213) 974-1652 


                                                                   Jan. 26, 2010


Andrea Sheridan Ordin Assumes County Counsel Position


Private attorney Andrea Sheridan Ordin, who has an extensive background in local, state and federal law and is widely recognized for her leadership and public service, will become Los Angeles County’s county counsel on Feb. 1.


Ordin, who will be sworn in Jan. 29 at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration, will become the 11th person – and the first woman -- to hold the position since the office was established in 1913.


She replaces Raymond G. Fortner, Jr., who retired in March 2009.  Robert E. Kalunian, chief deputy of the Public Defender’s Office, has been acting county counsel since Fortner’s retirement.


Ordin was appointed by unanimous vote of the Board of Supervisors on Dec. 10, 2009.  Her first Board meeting will be Feb. 2.


Supervisors Michael D. Antonovich and Zev Yaroslavsky cited Ordin’s experience in both the public and private sectors as important factors in prompting the Board to appoint her.


“Andrea’s public and private experience and leadership brings vision and knowledge to the County Counsel’s Office,” said Antonovich.  “I look forward to working with her.”  “Andrea has the intellect and integrity to succeed in this job.  Her breadth of experience will be an asset to Los Angeles County government,” said Yaroslavsky.


The Office of County Counsel serves as attorney for and provides legal advice and representation to the Board of Supervisors, County departments, and other public offices and agencies.  It has grown from a staff of 38 attorneys in 1963 to approximately 270 attorneys and a support staff of approximately 240. 


Ordin, who once served as assistant district attorney for Los Angeles County, leaves Morgan, Lewis & Brockius to rejoin the County.  A senior counsel at the Los Angeles office of the national firm, her practice focused on complex business and environmental litigation and internal corporate investigations.  She was also in charge of the firm’s pro bono programs in Los Angeles and Orange counties.


Before joining Morgan, Lewis & Brockius, she was chief assistant attorney general in the Division of Public Rights for the State of California, supervising 140 lawyers assigned to anti-trust, consumer protection, environment and civil rights sections.


She served as the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, only the third woman to be appointed to the position. 


As the assistant district attorney for Los Angeles County from 1975-77, in addition to her direct supervisory responsibilities, she had administrative responsibility for the more than 60 lawyers in the Juvenile Division, the lawyers assigned to the Special Investigations Division, which investigates charges of police malpractice and governmental corruption, and the lawyers in the Consumer and Environmental Protection Divisions.  She participated in drafting the first affirmative action program for the District Attorney’s Office and the first grant proposal for the Hardcore Gang Vertical Prosecution program.


Ordin’s experience also includes serving as executive director of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, Southern California counsel for the Fair Political Practice Commission, and deputy attorney general for the State of California.


In 1991 she was one of 10 commissioners on the Independent Commission to Study the Los Angeles Police Department (Christopher Commission), and she has served on the Los Angeles Board of Police Commissioners, the civilian oversight board for the Los Angeles Police Department, since 2005.


Ordin received her LLB in law and bachelor of arts degree in English from UCLA in 1965 and 1962 respectively.


She is a recipient of the Pioneer of Justice Award from the Mexican American Bar Foundation (2002), Ernestine Stahlhut Award from the Women Lawyers of Los Angeles (2000), Trailblazer Award from the LA County Bar Association & Women Lawyers of Los Angeles (2002), and the ABA Margaret Brent Award for Women Lawyers of Achievement (1991).








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