Council members have until Feb. 1 to decide on former L.A.
animal services chief's request to be reinstated.
Four Los Angeles City Council members began private talks
Friday with the former head of the city's animal shelters,
hoping to resolve the dispute created by his firing last
Councilman Bernard Parks arranged the meeting between his
colleagues and former animal services department General
Manager Guerdon Stuckey, who was removed from his post last
month by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and has asked the
council to reinstate him.
"I'd say we had a productive conversation,"
said Councilwoman Jan Perry, who declined to say where the
talks will head next.
The council has until Feb. 1 to decide the fate of
Stuckey, who was hired by former Mayor James Hahn and became
a target of a harassment campaign by animal extremists. On
Friday, hours before the private meeting, more than a dozen
Stuckey critics told the council that moderate animal
advocates were also in favor of his removal.
"There is no shred of evidence that the mayor's
termination decision was taken for political reasons,"
said Charlotte Laws, who serves on the Greater Valley Glen
Council. "Indeed, the new mayor gave Mr. Stuckey ample
time to prove his worth."
Stuckey's attorney, Edward Lear, did not return a call
seeking comment. Before he was forced out, Stuckey had
sought a $155,000 severance package.
Parks, a former police chief who went before the council
in 2002 in an attempt to keep his job, said before the
meeting that he wanted to hear Stuckey make his case.
"The main thing is to find out what he believes is
fair," he said.