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Politics, government and public life for Southern California

GM of LA's Housing Dept. leaving to start consulting firm

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The general manager of the City of L.A.'s Housing Department will step down at the end of the year to start her own consulting firm, she announced Friday. 

Mercedes Marquez has led the department for the past year-and-a-half. A spokeswoman for Mayor Eric Garcetti's office said Marquez's departure is unrelated to his ongoing performance reviews of general managers. 

"I appreciate her service and wish I could keep her on our team, but I wish her all the best in her next chapter," Garcetti said. 

Marquez first led the Housing Department from 2004 to 2009. She then left to serve the Obama Administration as assistant secretary for Community Planning and Development in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

"My new work-life balance will allow me to achieve some 'bucket list' items with [my wife] while also permitting me to engage in work and issues I am passionate about," Marquez wrote in an email to staff.  

"In other words, I will seek to continue my work to strengthen neighborhoods through the development of effective programs, strong local delivery systems and community development capacity."

Marquez is just the latest general manager to leave City Hall. Fire Chief Brian Cummings is leaving his position and Geraldine Knatz at the Port of Los Angeles will retire next month.

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