LAX Airport Panel Nominee Quits Group Which Sued Airport

Tuesday, August 2, 2005
Airport Panel Nominee Quits Group
By Jennifer Oldham
The Los Angeles (CA) Times

A Playa del Rey resident whom Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa nominated to the Airport Commission last week has resigned as president of a community group that sued to challenge the city’s $11-billion modernization plan for Los Angeles International Airport. Valeria Velasco announced Monday that she had stepped down as head of the Alliance for a Regional Solution to Airport Congestion.

Her nomination was questioned last week by the Chamber of Commerce and by City Councilman Tony Cardenas, who expressed concern that her role with the organization was a conflict of interest and would preclude her from fully carrying out her duties as a commissioner.

Cardenas has asked City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo for an opinion on whether Velasco’s resignation was enough to remove any possible conflict of interest. The council, which must approve Villaraigosa’s nominees, is expected to discuss them next month.

Velasco said that voters amended the City Charter several years ago to include two seats on the Airport Commission for community representatives who live near LAX and Van Nuys Airport, which is also operated by the Los Angeles airport agency.