Saenz to be head of MALDEF *

Thomas Saenz, Mayor Villaraigosa's in-house legal counsel, will become president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund next month. Saenz, 43, says in the Los Angeles Daily Journal that he plans to focus on the group's financial stability and building what the paper calls a strong civil rights docket. "In the current economic situation the top priority has to be to secure additional funding to pursue its mission, which is to pursue civil rights," Saenz said. On Friday, we noted that actress Eva Longoria-Parker sent a letter endorsing Saenz for the job. In March, Saenz lost an appointment to a top Obama Administration post.

* Added: Villaraigosa sends out a statement, after the jump.

Tom Saenz has been a trusted advisor who understands the importance of public service and working on behalf of those in need. His zealous leadership, legal prowess and counsel have helped diversify our body of City commissioners, provide living wages for our City's workers, and demand a quality education for every child in Los Angeles. I thank Tom for his devoted service to the City of Los Angeles and wish him all the best in his new endeavor. MALDEF is not only inheriting a brilliant legal mind, but also a passionate and committed champion of civil rights."

Also now: LAT blog item

More by Kevin Roderick:
Standing up to Harvey Weinstein
The Media
LA Times gets a top editor with nothing but questions
LA Observed Notes: Harvey Weinstein stripped bare
LA Observed Notes: Photos of the homeless, photos that found homes
Recent Politics stories on LA Observed:
David Ryu and candidate Mike Fong
Tronc buys (NY) Daily News, La Tuna fire aftermath and more
Helping in Houston, new lion cubs, Garcetti's back
Garcetti has weekend date in the Hamptons
Garcetti hitting the road to New Hampshire
LA Confederate monument coming down
LA Observed Notes: Back from vacation and into the fray
Rendon fights for neglected Southeast


LA Observed on Twitter