Firing claim: 'Dead wrong' *

The claim by anony-blog Mayor Sam's Sister City that a Villaraigosa staffer (or two) would be fired for leaking to reporters is untrue, says Robin Kramer, the mayor's chief of staff. "That's dead wrong," Kramer told me during a phone conversation tonight, adding that she never reads that site. Kramer said the Villaraigosa Administration is busy with issues and staffing up, and has no interest in retaliating: "We're serious grown ups here. We don't get into that." Reporters in the City Hall press corps had been buzzing since I pointed out on Wednesday that the blog's "Chief Parker" posted that consequences were in store for Villaraigosa staffers because of reporter scoops, naming David Zahniser of Copley News Service and me. My ears perked up for more than the obvious reason. All four Mayor Sam bloggers appear to work in some aspect of politics and to hide their identities, employers and various conflicts of interest (and some use the secrecy to make personal attacks, increasingly at me.) But Parker, who's open about his support for the mayor, has been suspected by some in City Hall of masking a more tangible tie to Villaraigosa. That gave the claim the air of a quasi-authoritative threat, and was certainly taken that way by some reporters. So it needed an official response from the mayor's office. I've emailed "Chief Parker" for his response to Kramer's denial. * He replies: "Always happy to hear I am wrong, Robin Kramer is a wonderful leader and the city is lucky to have her. Her no nonsense approach to government and her tough as nails work ethic will bold well for the new city as they gear up for a fresh start from this administration." 1:20 a.m.

Also: Villaraigosa convenes the first meeting of his education advisors Friday morning at Trade Tech. Then at noon, he makes a joint appearance with Councilwoman Janice Hahn of all people, at the Dalmation-American club in San Pedro. Think there will be a couple of clenched smiles there?

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