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Subject: Anthony Alperin, 56; L.A. Assistant City Attorney and Expert on Ethics

February 26
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Date Posted: March 02, 2003 10:42:19 EDT

Assistant City Atty. Anthony Saul Alperin, who played a key role in drafting Los Angeles' ethics and election laws, died Wednesday of a heart attack. He was 56.

Alperin, who won the California State Bar Assn.'s 1995 Public Lawyer of the Year Award, was the city's senior ethics and election lawyer, according to City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo.

"We mourn the passing of a defender of the 1st Amendment and an attorney who stood for the highest ethics and conduct from his colleagues and elected officials," Delgadillo said. "His work inspired a generation of ethics reform."

Alperin had been legal advisor to the Los Angeles Ethics Commission since its inception in 1990. He assisted the panel in analyzing and drafting many of the campaign finance reform and conflict-of-interest laws now on the books.

"Tony Alperin was a treasured colleague and a friend," said LeeAnn Pelham, executive director of the commission. "His caring, creativity and commitment to the public good were infectious, and we were lucky to have learned so much from one of the best."

Alperin also served on the team of attorneys that helped rewrite the City Charter four years ago.

Colleagues recalled an attorney with an encyclopedic knowledge of ethics and election law, who was not shy about passionately staking out a position on the legal merits of a proposed ordinance, even when it put him at odds with elected officials and the Ethics Commission.

Alperin was born in New York City. He earned a degree in political science from UC Berkeley and graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 1971. He served as a legislative assistant to then-Assemblyman Henry Waxman before joining the city attorney's office in 1974.

Alperin founded the nonprofit Center for Government and Public Policy.

He is survived by his wife, Marsha; son, Adam; daughter, Sara; and mother, Rose.

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