Outgoing City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo said today he is considering a second run for state attorney general.
He will leave office next week, termed-out after serving two four-year terms.
Speaking at City Hall after council members presented him with a resolution expressing appreciation for his work, Delgadillo said he loved public service.
"I love going to work every day, even with the challenges that come from all different sectors. It's worth it because I believe that in my job, everyday I get to go out and do something that might save the life of a 5-year old in a place like South L.A. or East L.A. or Wilmington.
"Our work has produced those kinds of results. So I'd like to do something more with that. I've opened up a campaign committee for state attorney general since it appears as though Jerry Brown is running for governor. I'm not running against him (again)."
Brown got nearly twice as many votes as Delgadillo in the Democratic primary in 2006.
While Brown is considering running for governor, five others have expressed interest in taking over his post: San Francisco District Attorney Kamala Harris; Assemblyman Ted Lieu, D-Torrance; Assemblyman Pedro Nava D-Santa Barbara; Assemblyman Alberto Torrico, D-Newark; and former Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla, D-Pittsburg.
Delgadillo said he had been an effective chief prosecutor for the city, particularly against gangs.
"Growing up in a gang-infested neighborhood, it always struck me as odd that there were more gang members than police officers. (My office) started with eight gangs under gang injunctions. As of last week, we're up to 70 gangs. Gang crime is at a record low. Gang membership is down by a third," he said.
Delgadillo spoke highly of his signature Neighborhood Prosecutor program, in which deputy city attorneys are assigned to each of the city's 20 police stations to work on local problems like drug houses and street prostitution.
He said his "biggest accomplishment" was choosing the right people for the City Attorney's Office. He defended his decision to grant tenure to his political appointees.
"All those people have been mentioned as being some of the greatest public servants that the city has. So why would you want to lose that extraordinary talent in the City Attorney's Office?"
He shrugged off a call by City Councilman Dennis Zine to determine whether he overstepped his authority and violated the charter.
"I'd welcome an investigation ... but it would be a waste of money," he said.
Asked how he would want to remembered, Delgadillo said:
"I would hope that people in the city of Los Angeles think that I brought the City Attorney's Office closer to them."
"I hope that they believe that that office is their advocate for the issues they struggle with on a day in and day out basis, whether it be predators that wear gang colors or predators that wear Brooks Brothers suits. Either way, I hope they feel we were there as their sentry, as their guardian to protect them."