ABOUT THE OFFICE OF THE LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY
The Los Angeles City Attorney plays a leading role in shaping the future of our city by fighting to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods, reducing gang activity, preventing gun violence, standing up for consumers and the elderly, protecting our environment and so much more. The City Attorney's office writes every municipal law, advises the Mayor, City Council and all city departments and commissions, defends the city in litigation, brings forth lawsuits on behalf of the people and prosecutes misdemeanor crimes such as domestic violence, drunk driving and vandalism. This office strives every day to make Los Angeles a better and safer place to live, work, raise a family and visit. Meet City Attorney Mike Feuer, learn about our Executive Team and check out current career opportunities.
ABOUT MIKE FEUER, LOS ANGELES CITY ATTORNEY
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has long been one of California's leading lawyers and lawmakers. As LA's chief lawyer and prosecutor since July, 2013, he has brought an innovative, problem-solving focus that combines tough and effective prosecution with initiatives to improve public safety and the quality of life throughout the city. Feuer’s office also has been at the forefront of key national issues ranging from gun violence prevention and consumer protection to justice system reform and challenges to recent federal policies that threaten fundamental rights and public safety. Feuer was re-elected in March, 2017, to a second term without opposition.
In 2017, the American Bar Association presented its top award in the nation for a public sector law office to Feuer’s office—the first City Attorney’s office ever to receive the distinguished Hodson Award, recognizing "sustained, outstanding performance or a specific and extraordinary service by a government or public sector law office."
Feuer has focused on neighborhoods, nearly tripling the Neighborhood Prosecutor Program and creating the Community Justice Initiative - an array of innovative, neighborhood-based programs focused on quality of life crimes, truancy, prostitution, homelessness and more - to reduce recidivism and address root causes of crime. He has expanded a project to rid problem properties of gangs, guns and drugs that threaten neighborhood safety.
Under the City Attorney’s broad authority, Feuer has brought a wide-range of lawsuits to protect consumers. For example, Feuer’s office was the first government agency to take action against Wells Fargo over its opening of unauthorized accounts. He achieved an historic settlement on behalf of the City Attorney’s Office and federal partners, requiring Wells Fargo to pay restitution to its customers, put protections in place to stop the illegal behavior and pay $185 million in fines and penalties. This year he filed lawsuits against the Weather Channel App claiming privacy violations and Intuit, parent company of Turbo Tax, and H&R Block asserting they kept low-income customers from filing their taxes for free.
A national leader in preventing gun violence, Feuer created the City Attorney’s Gun Violence Prevention Unit and has worked aggressively to keep guns out the hands of criminals and children. He has brought charges against adults who did not properly store firearms which later fell into the hands of children, and, with the LAPD, created protocols to assure domestic violence perpetrators do not have weapons. In a groundbreaking national effort, Feuer joined with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr. to co-found and chair Prosecutors Against Gun Violence - an independent, non-partisan coalition devoted to prosecutorial and policy solutions to the public health and safety crisis of gun violence. Last year, in the wake of the Parkland school massacre, he convened the Los Angeles Blue Ribbon Panel on School Safety, which held eight hearings and produced a comprehensive report with over 30 recommendations.
Feuer’s office has been active on other key national issues with implications for Angelenos. His office obtained a permanent, nationwide injunction preventing the Trump Administration from imposing civil immigration enforcement considerations on the federal Community-Based Policing grant program. Feuer's office leads a coalition of major cities and counties on a brief opposing the Trump Administration’s attempt to halt the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program. The office has participated in briefs opposing the Muslim Travel Ban (Feuer himself went to L.A. International Airport to attempt to secure the release of early detainees). Feuer's office was also counsel of record supporting marriage equality on a brief for 226 mayors, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, National League of Cities and others in the U.S. Supreme Court, and joined with New York City and Santa Clara County in leading seventy local governments and 80 mayors on an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the right of LGBTQ people to be from sexual orientation-based discrimination in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case.
Previously Feuer served as the Majority Policy Leader of the California Assembly and Chair of the Assembly's Judiciary Committee, writing many of California's most important public safety, children's health, transportation, consumer protection and environmental laws. Feuer jointly-authored the Homeowners' Bill of Rights and the Iran Contracting Act. He wrote the Crime Gun Identification Act and the Sargent Shriver Civil Counsel Act, as well as the nation's most comprehensive law to remove cancer-causing chemicals from consumer products, the law requiring insurance companies to insure children with pre-existing conditions, the law authorizing L.A. County's transformative transportation initiative, Measure R, and much more.
As a Los Angeles City Council member, Feuer chaired the Budget and Finance Committee, delivering on-time, balanced budgets, fighting successfully for anti-gang and after-school programs, jobs for disadvantaged youth and meals for indigent seniors. Feuer wrote some of America's toughest laws to curb gun violence, initiated L.A.'s 3-1-1 non-emergency services system and spearheaded ethics and business tax reforms.
He and his wife, Gail Ruderman Feuer, have been married for thirty-five years and have two children, Aaron and Danielle.
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CITY ATTORNEY MIKE FEUER'S EXECUTIVE TEAM
LEELA ANN KAPUR, CHIEF OF STAFF, has 24 years of experience in the Office of the Los Angeles County Counsel, most recently as Chief Deputy. In the County Counsel's Office, she represented and advised the Board of Supervisors, other County officials, departments, agencies and commissions on a wide variety of legal issues. As Chief Deputy, she was responsible for the administration of the office and assisted the County Counsel in managing all of the County’s diverse legal matters.
JIM CLARK, CHIEF DEPUTY, has more than 38 years of civil litigation experience, was a long-time partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has handled a multitude of complex civil litigation matters at every level of the California and Federal Courts.
MARY CLARE MOLIDOR, CHIEF ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY, is currently the Chief of the Criminal and Special Litigation Branch. She obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, graduated from UCLA Law School in 1978 and joined the City Attorney’s Office in 1979. She is responsible for overseeing the prosecution of all misdemeanor crimes and civil abatement actions within the city and working with the Managers of the Branch and Area Division, Safe Neighborhoods and Gang Division and the Complex and Special Litigation Division. She has been instrumental in designing and implementing community justice programs which have received local, state and national recognition, and was a recipient of the “Innovative Community Engagement Award” from the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.
DAVID MICHAELSON, CHIEF ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY, is the Chief of the Municipal Law Branch, which through its nine divisions provides legal advice and counseling to the municipal government. Prior to joining the City Attorney's Office in 2002, David was a Principal Deputy County Counsel for Los Angeles County. He also was an advisor to Mayor Richard Riordan and County Supervisor Ed Edelman, in addition to having served as a Commissioner on the City's Board of Recreation and Parks and the Commission on Environmental Affairs. David is a graduate of the Law Center at the University of Southern California.
KATHLEEN KENEALY, CHIEF ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY, has more than 25 years of experience in both the public and private sectors. She served as the Acting Attorney General of California during the transition period pending the appointment of Attorney General Becerra. She worked for the California Attorney General's office for fourteen years, heading its Division of Civil Law and serving in senior attorney and executive management roles in that office's Natural Resources Law Section. Most recently, she served as Senior Counsel for the California Air Resources Board. She spent the early part of her career at the law firm of Akin Gump. Her public service includes six years in the US Army Reserve. Currently her primary focus is the oversight and coordination of the office's work to address actions of the federal administration which have the potential to negatively impact the City and its residents.
ZNA PORTLOCK HOUSTON, SENIOR ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY AND SPECIAL COUNSEL, PERSONNEL STANDARDS AND EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT, has served in the office for 20 years. After working in the City Attorney Criminal Division, she went on to head the Labor Relations Division in 2001, advising 43 city departments. In August 2012, she was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as a State Board Member of the California African American Museum. Prior to joining the office, Ms. Houston was the first African American to hold a management position in the over 100 year history of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses, was labor relations counsel to Fox, Inc. and an associate at Littler, Mendelson.
GITA O'NEILL, ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY AND DIRECTOR, HOMELESSNESS POLICIES & STRATEGIES, works to
decrease street homelessness by creating innovative policy working alongside the outstanding teams of lawyers within the City Attorney's Office. She also works closely with various city agencies that interface the most on the issue of street homelessness, such as LAPD, LA Sanitation & Environment, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and various County departments, along with the other elected officials in the city.
CAPRI MADDOX, SPECIAL ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY, handles attorney recruitment, business support, faith based initiatives and often serves as a surrogate speaker for City Attorney Mike Feuer. She previously served as Deputy City Attorney in the following units: Central Trials, Neighborhood Prosecutor Program, Complex Litigation and General Counsel Section. Before returning to the Office of the City Attorney as the Special Assistant City Attorney, she was President of the City of Los Angeles Board of Public Works. Recently Capri took a leave of absence to serve as the Executive Director of LA Unified School District's Partnership Office working with with Southern California Grantmakers, The California Endowment and The Ballmer Group.
ALEXANDER PONDER, DIRECTOR OF POLICY AND INTER-GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS, served as Deputy Chief of Staff and District Director for Mike Feuer when he was in the State Assembly. Previously he was a Legislative Advocate for the National League of Cities and Chief of Staff to LA City Councilmember Cindy Miscikowski. He also worked for Feuer when he was on the City Council.
ROB WILCOX, DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND OUTREACH, has worked in senior level strategic communication, public policy and community relations positions. During the last decade he has run the statewide communications for three of the highest profile issues in California: stimulus spending, redistricting of Congressional and legislative districts and high-speed rail. Prior to that he was communication director for Los Angeles City Controller Laura Chick. Since 2013, he has spearheaded City Attorney Mike Feuer's community engagement and outreach efforts which include the communications operations.
NICOLE CARCEL, STRATEGIC PLANNING AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS, served as Senior Field Representative for Mike Feuer in the State Assembly.