Mayor Eric Garcetti cut short his East Coast trip today to deal with continuing protests over the verdict in the Trayvon Martin case. He is expected to return to L.A. this afternoon, said spokesman Yusef Robb.
In his absence, Council President Herb Wesson has been acting mayor. Garcetti had been in Pittsburgh over the weekend visiting family.
He was also planning to go to Maryland to meet with Dmitri Mehlhorn, a longtime supporter and adviser who is helping him staff his administration.
Who is Dmitri Mehlhorn?
Mehlhorn is chief operating officer of Bloomberg Law. Until last year, he was the chief operating officer of Students First, the education reform group headed by Michelle Rhee, the controversial former chancellor of the Washington, D.C., public school system.
In case Mehlhorn's politics are of interest, he seems to be a pro-market Democrat, judging by this law review article
he wrote in 1998, in which he criticized anti-blockbusting laws:
Thus, the blockbusting era represents an important example of how
progressives can actually cause damage to the people they care about
through economic ignorance... Market forces are not the enemy; they are a
powerful tool that can be used to assist with the constant struggle to
create a more just and prosperous society.
Robb said that Mehlhorn is helping with the search for a deputy mayor for economic development and a chief technology officer.
Garcetti was also scheduled to meet later in the week with officials in Washington. Depending on how the protests evolve, he may be able to head back and keep those appointments.