Yesterday on its website, the Los Angeles Times reported that Board of Public Works president Andrea Alarcon was under investigation by the LAPD and the district attorney after her 11-year-old daughter was found unattended in City Hall last Friday at 11:45 p.m. A politico-heavy party took place that night in City Hall for the organization Project Restore. Alarcon did not show up at the LAPD's Central station to reclaim her daughter until about 2 a.m., the LAT's David Zahniser and Andrew Blankstein reported.
The story ran in this morning's Times, with an evasive comment from Alarcon: "My daughter and I have an extremely close relationship and as a single mother, she often accompanies me to special events for work. Out of respect for my daughter's privacy and because she is a minor, I really have nothing further to say about this matter."
Before 10 a.m. this morning, Mayor Villaraigosa's office [typo fixed] sent out a terse statement from Alarcon:
My daughter is my top priority and nothing could be more important to me than her well-being. In order for me to be the best parent possible, I have decided to seek professional help and treatment. I ask that the media respect my family's privacy during this difficult time.
No other details on the treatment or the case were offered. Alarcon has pleaded not guilty to recent charges of drunk driving and cruelty to a child by endangering her health after being arrested last December by the CHP with a child in the car. She is due in court next month on those charges, the Times says.
Alarcon, though just 33, has been around LA politics for quite awhile. She is the daughter of Councilman Richard Alarcon, himself facing DA charges. A graduate of Georgetown University, Andrea Alarcon directed the Los Angeles of then-state attorney general Bill Lockyer at the time Villaraigosa was elected mayor in 2005. Villaraigosa appointed her to the Board of Transportation Commissioners in 2006, then in 2009 moved her to the $130,000-a-year post on the Board of Public Works.
The members of the Board of Public Works serve jointly as general manager of the Department of Public Works, the city’s third largest municipal agency with more than 5,500 employees and an annual budget of more than $1.8 billion. Her bio on the board website describes Alarcon as "an avid activist who has devoted her life to public service." The bio also says "Alarcón’s pride, joy and greatest accomplishment is her 11 year old daughter Cheyenne." They live in Sylmar.
Photo: Alarcon on Facebook