Commissioner trouble

For the second day in a row, the papers run stories about bad reaction to Mayor Hahn's political plays with city commissions. This time it's about his appointment last month of Yolanda Fuentes (we told you about her here) to Public Works, replacing Cynthia Ruiz, who was just put on the board by Hahn last year but who happens to be close to Antonio Villaraigosa. Even some of Hahn's friends don't like the smell of this one: "She has done an extraordinary job," said West Valley Councilman Dennis Zine. "I think this is a purely political move by the mayor." One of the other Public Works jobs is held, incidentially, by Ellen Stein, the wife of controversial ex-Hahn commissioner Ted Stein. Stories in the Times and Daily News.

Also: Federal law enforcement investigators are trying to determine if Fleishman-Hillard billed the DWP for political work the PR firm did for then-councilman Nick Pacheco. Controller Laura Chick calls the evidence "a smoking Uzi." Story by David Zahniser in the Daily Breeze. Plus: Valley parents are upset with Roy Romer's plan to move 5,000 classroom seats over the hill to settle a civil rights lawsuit. Chick questions the city's travel expenses. And the mayor's race has winnowed down to 12 official candidates.

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