The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously appointed Sachi A. Hamai to serve as interim chief executive officer on Dec. 2, effective immediately.
Additionally, the board called for the creation of a county policy aimed at creating a level playing field and avoiding the appearance of favoritism in the recruitment of top county executives by no longer appointing acting heads of departments that have director vacancies.
The board had appointed Brence Culp, the chief deputy CEO, as interim CEO on Nov. 18, but withdrew the appointment because she has expressed interest in replacing former CEO William Fujioka on a permanent basis.
Before her appointment as the Board of Supervisors’ executive officer in 2006, Hamai worked for nearly two decades in a number of county agencies, including Auditor-Controller and the Department of Health Services, where she served as a senior executive.
As part of last week’s actions, the board directed county counsel to report back within 30 days with a proposed formal written policy that would prohibit candidates for department head appointments from being named as acting department heads.
The board-approved motion stated, “This is the best way to ensure a level playing field in the recruitment and selection of the [CEO] position and to avoid a chilling effect on qualified candidates from applying for the position.”
“Sachi brings a wealth of valuable knowledge and skills to her new responsibilities as the county’s interim CEO,” Supervisor Michael Antonovich said. “I’m confident that our chief executive office is in good hands with her at the helm during this interim period.”
Currently, the Board of Supervisors is engaged in a nationwide search for a permanent CEO.