Economía y Negocios

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L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander to vacate his seat

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Los Angeles City Councilman Mitchell Englander, who represents part of the northern San Fernando Valley, will vacate his seat on the council at the end of the year, he announced Thursday.

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Englander, who was first elected to the council in 2011 and reelected in 2015, said he was joining the sports and entertainment firm Oak View Group as its new executive vice president of government affairs in January. He will remain in his council seat until the end of December, his office announced.

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Advertisement “Recently, I was presented with an amazing opportunity in the private sector to work with some of the most brilliant and well-respected leaders in their industry,” Englander said in a statement. “While I didn’t seek this out — sometimes tremendous opportunities find you.”

Englander is the only Republican on the council and serves as a reserve officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He had been part way into his second term and wasn’t up for re-election until 2020.

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In his statement Thursday, Englander touted his work as head of a council committee focused on public safety, as well as securing new parks and other neighborhood amenities for his district, and said that “the greatest gift has been working with the incredibly engaged and passionate people throughout the 12th District.”

City Council President Herb Wesson said in a statement that Englander “will be remembered as a champion not only for the Valley, but all Angelenos.”

“His ability to reach across parties and personalities to deliver for his constituents is invaluable,” Wesson said. “His leadership on the Los Angeles City Council will be missed.”

Englander did not say how long he expected his northwest Valley constituents to go without a city representative.

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Because he doesn’t leave until the end of the year, “there’s plenty of time to figure out the mechanics of how to fill the vacancy,” said Vanessa Rodriguez, Wesson’s spokeswoman.

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Englander is the second council member in three years to abruptly announce his departure

In 2016, Councilman Felipe Fuentes, also a Valley representative, resigned from his seat to become a lobbyist in Sacramento before finishing his four-year term

Oak View Group, whose CEO is former AEG executive Tim Leiweke, describes itself as an L.A.-based global advisory, development and investment company for the sports and live entertainment industries and is part of the Azoff Co., led by Irving Azoff

In the last year, it has spent money to influence the City Council and the parks department on issues related to the Greek Theatre in Griffith Park, according to city disclosures

Council members are barred from negotiating future employment or business opportunities with people who have a matter pending before them, according to Ethics Commission materials

Englander spokesman Colin Sweeney said that “Oak View Group is not and has never been a contractor with the city of L.A., they have no business with the city of L.A., and nothing pending.”

1:05 p.m.: This article was updated with background on former Councilman Felipe Fuentes, who also vacated his seat early, and a comment from Englander’s spokesman

This article was originally published at 12:45 p.m.