Jaime De La Vega Out at LADOT

Moments ago, the Mayor’s Office announced that Jaime De La Vega will no longer serve as General Manager of the Department of Transportation. Jon Kirk Mukri, the General Manager for Recreation and Parks will serve as interim General Manager for LADOT while a permanent replacement is sought.

John Kirk Mukri

Things changed at LADOT during De La Vega’s tenure. He took over a department dogged by recent scandals unearthed by Controller Wendy Greuel when he was appointed General Manager by then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. For the most part, he helped right the ship. The focus of the Department also slowly changed towards striping more bike lanes, installing safer crosswalks, and putting more bloated roads on a diet. However, his personal style rubbed staff the wrong way leading to an unprecedented “insurrection” at the City Council and during “secret” meetings with Mayor Eric Garcetti.

“I thank Jaime de la Vega for his service to Los Angeles. My agenda for the Department of Transportation is to reduce traffic and improve mobility for all Angelenos by increasing our transit options and making our existing ones more effective,” Mayor Garcetti said.

 Multiple sources in City Hall deny that the Mayor’s decision to relieve De La Vega from command as lost confidence, and to a person everyone we spoke with assured Streetsblog that the city’s direction on transportation projects wouldn’t change during the next 1250 or so days of Mayor Garcetti’s term. If anything, the new General Manager will be more progressive than any previous one, sources claim.

As General Manager of the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, Mukri oversees  more than 15,000 acres of parkland, 10,000 employees, a $165 million operating budget and over $600 million funding for capital projects.

Appointed in February 2004, Mukri has extensive experience as a City of Los Angeles manager. Before joining Recreation and Parks, he served for four years as General Manager of the City of Los Angeles General Services Department, which provides centralized services, including fleet services, asset management, and construction maintenance and purchasing for the City. He also served as Assistant General Manager of General Services for five years.

As for De La Vega, Streetsblog had a good relationship with LADOT and his office both when he was working as Deputy Mayor and LADOT General Manager. We wish him well in future endeavors.