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