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By Randy Economy
Santos Kreimann is now the new Acting Chief Deputy for the embattled Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office thanks to a unanimous vote by the five members of the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday afternoon.
The vote to confirm of Kreimann took place after a closed-door Board of Supervisors hearing to evaluate department heads and discuss Kreimann’s appointment as chief deputy assessor.
Kreimann was the Director of Beaches and Harbors for the County prior to his confirmation on Tuesday.
Los Cerritos Community Newspaper has learned that Kriemann has no professional experience in the complex field of property assessments, and lacks even the most minimal of qualifications normally required for the position.
David Sommers, media spokesperson for Los Angeles County Chief Administrative Office William Fujioka confirmed to LCCN in an email Tuesday morning that Kriemann does not hold a Real Estate License or a certificate as a property appraiser or auditor and does not possess any advanced college degrees.
Sommers said that Kreimann will be given signing authority of assessment devaluations only when he can be granted a “temporary appraisal certification.”
“I suspect he will soon have signing authority on all assessment devaluations and increases,” Sommers said.
Details of his compensation package has not been disclosed.
Kriemann will be replaced at Beaches and Harbors by three individuals in the department including Gary Jones, who will be handling real estate and concessions; John Kelly, who will take care of maintenance operations, capital projects and planning. Kerry Silverstrom will be responsible for all the administration and community and marketing services items.
Also Sommers pointed out that Beaches and Harbors Deputy Chief Executive Officer Rita Robinson, who oversees community and municipal services countywide, will provide “more hands on oversight of the department and Santos will be available and consulted on any major policy decisions.”
“I am eager to dedicate my full attention to reviewing and improving policies and procedures necessary to restore the public’s confidence in the Los Angeles County Assessor’s Office,” Kreimann said. “My goal is to reestablish the department as the premier property assessment agency in the nation.”
County CEO William Fujioka, who recommended Kreimann for the job, reiterated his vote of confidence.
“Santos is a highly qualified county leader and is fully prepared to guide the assessor’s staff in providing essential public services to county residents.”
LCCN can confirm that Kreimann asked members of Assessor John Noguez top staff last week that he has “four immediate goals for the office, including improving employee morale.”
LCCN has been told that Kreimann asked those who attended that he wanted to “boost employee morale and the image of the Assessor’s office; the increase efficiency inside the office; enhance the relationship between members of the Board of Supervisors; and to educate rank and file employees about the current situation inside the office.”
Kreimann also requested that each person who attended the meeting provide him with “a written description of their job responsibilities” so he can better acquaint himself with the complex and massive Assessor operation that employees nearly 2,000 people.
David Sommers, media spokesperson for County Chief Administrative Officer William Fujioka, confirmed to LCCN that the meeting did indeed take place and that “Mr. Fujioka is okay with this.”
LCCN has also learned that Kreimann has no formal certification to serve as a property appraiser, but Sommers said that Fujoika believes that Kreimman is the “right person at the right time to oversee the Assessor’s office, and more importantly he has the support of John (Noguez).”
A review of his official bio shows that Kreimann has been with the county for twenty years and oversaw an annual operating budget of $41 million with 256 employees.
Kriemann also hold a Bachelor of Business Administration from Cal State University Los Angeles. He also lists experience as an employee with the Treasurer and Tax Collectors Office, the Department of Health Services, the Chief Administrative Office, and his current slot with the beaches and harbors.
Noguez and several members of his inner circle are the focus of a massive criminal probe by members of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. One arrest has already been made, and several more are anticipated during the next several weeks and months.
Several weeks ago, more than 300 law enforcement officers raided Noguez personal office inside the Los Angeles County Hall of Administration, taking possession of several computers, cell phones, and box loads of potential evidence from several of those who participated in the meeting with Kriemann last Thursday.
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