Durazo, the new chief of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, has long been known in local labor circles as a firebrand unafraid to employ extreme tactics, a quality that has often improved wages and benefits for her workers but roiled the city's large business community.
She once compared the labor situation in Los Angeles to apartheid in South Africa. Another time she had hotel maids who were embroiled in a contract dispute make up a bed — in the middle of Figueroa Street.
Some business leaders publicly greeted Friday's announcement with polite restraint, but others privately wondered whether Durazo could moderate herself.
Her predecessor, Martin Ludlow, agreed Friday to plead guilty to a criminal conspiracy that secretly diverted union money to his 2003 council campaign. He will pay fines and restitution totaling $186,000 and receive a four-year ban from public office and a 13-year ban on leading a union, the Times says. Ludlow and Janett Humphries, former president of Service Employees International Union Local 99, were indicted Friday on conspiracy charges arising from his 2003 campaign for the City Council.
Also Friday: Sheriff Lee Baca called on school board candidate Christopher Arellano to drop out of the race and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party withdrew its support for him. Arellano was caught this week lying about his college degrees and it was disclosed that he had a criminal record for theft.