George Cardona Selected as City Attorney’s Office Special Counsel

February 15, 2018

George Cardona Selected as City Attorney’s Office Special Counsel

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- City Attorney Lane Dilg announced the hiring of George Cardona to serve as Special Counsel / Chief of Staff in the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office. Cardona comes to Santa Monica from the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, where he has served in leadership roles since 2002. 

In this role, Cardona will assist the City Attorney with office management and high-priority legal matters. 

“George Cardona has earned the respect of the legal community as a first-rate litigator with an unparalleled commitment to public service and the rule of law,” said City Attorney Lane Dilg. “I am so pleased to welcome him to Santa Monica.”

From 2002 to 2015, Cardona was the Chief Assistant United States Attorney for the Central District of California. In that capacity, he oversaw approximately 250 attorneys who served more than 19 million residents across Southern California. 

“I am thrilled to be joining Lane Dilg at the City Attorney’s Office and look forward to working with her and the office’s many great attorneys,” said Cardona.

Cardona also participated in many of the federal government’s most important cases in the region.  In the aftermath of the national financial crisis, he led the federal government’s civil action alleging that ratings agency Standard & Poor’s had engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) and Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs). The action led to the largest penalty ever against a ratings agency when Standard & Poor’s paid $1.375 billion to settle the federal government’s action and a series of related state actions.

“George is a brilliant litigator and dedicated public servant,” United States Attorney Nic Hanna said. “His move west is wonderful for the City of Santa Monica and a huge loss to the United States Attorney’s Office.”

In addition to his work at the United States Attorney’s Office, Cardona has served as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County and an Assistant City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and taught as an adjunct lecturer at UCLA School of Law. He is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School, and he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, a dog, and several cats.

Cardona starts on Tuesday, February 20 at a monthly salary of $21,156. The Special Counsel / Chief of Staff position constitutes a title change and is in lieu of the prior Assistant City Attorney position.

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