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Biographies
  • Brian K. Williams, Executive Director
  • Sean Kennedy, Commission Chair
  • Jamon R. Hicks, Commission Vice Chair
  • Irma Hagans Cooper
  • Patti Giggans
  • Luis S. Garcia
  • Robert C. Bonner
  • James P. Harris
  • Lael Rubin

Brian K. Williams, Esq.

Executive Director

On November 1, 2016, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved hiring of Executive Director, Brian K. Williams, Esq.

He is the principal owner of the Brian K. Williams Law Group (BKWLG), a criminal defense and civil litigation law firm. Williams has handled matters in both State and Federal court and has tried over 100 cases. Williams also served as President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southern California, one of the nation’s preeminent educational programs for youth. Prior to joining Junior Achievement, Williams served as the Executive Director of the Southern California Leadership Network (SCLN). The SCLN is one of the nation’s premiere leadership development programs. Prior to joining the SCLN, Williams served as the Director of Government Affairs for the Southern California Association of Governments.

Williams served for 11 years as an Assistant City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office where he handled thousands of criminal and civil matters and more than 100 cases. After several years in the Criminal Division handling general criminal matters and assisting in the establishment of the Domestic Violence Unit, Williams moved to the Special Operations Division where he conducted specialized prosecution of high-profile cases such as police officer involved crimes, hate crimes, child molestation, industrial accidents, manslaughter, and environmental crimes. Williams was also charged with serving as co-chair of the City Attorney’s team reviewing the LAPD Rampart Corruption probe. When Los Angeles City Attorney James K. Hahn was elected Mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor Hahn appointed Williams as his Deputy Mayor.

Williams served for four years as the Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles for Transportation, Environment, and Infrastructure. Upon leaving the Mayor’s Office, Williams was appointed as the Assistant City Manager for the City of Pasadena, where he oversaw the police, fire, planning, water and power, and human resources departments. Williams, a two-time UCLA Chancellor’s Marshall, earned a B.A. in Political Science at UCLA and received a Juris Doctorate from the UCLA School of Law. Williams has lectured at the UCLA School of Law, USC School of Law, Loyola University, and has provided commentary in national, regional and local media outlets. Williams is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, the Boule’, the Pacific Council and numerous other organizations. A native of Southern California, Williams is married and has two outstanding sons.

 

Sean Kennedy

Commission Chair

Executive Director of Center for Juvenile Law & Policy at Loyola Law School and former federal public defender, appointed by the Board of Supervisors

In fall 2014, Sean Kennedy joined Loyola Law School as the Kaplan and Feldman Executive Director of its Center for Juvenile Law and Policy (CJLP). 

Prior to this appointment, Kennedy was the Federal Public Defender for the Central District of California from 2006 to 2014 and has also served as Chief of the Federal Public Defender Capital Habeas Unit. 

As an adjunct professor for more than 15 years, Kennedy has taught Appellate Advocacy and the Death Penalty Law Seminar at the Law School. He has coached the Byrne Trial Advocacy Team – himself a member of the Scott Moot Court Honors Board as a student. Additionally, he serves on the board of Loyola’s Advocacy Institute. 

In 2013, Kennedy was named Criminal Defense Attorney of the Year by the Los Angeles County Bar Association and received the Fidler Institute Award for Defense Lawyer of the Year from Loyola. He is a recipient of the Public Interest Award by Loyola’s Public Interest Law Foundation. Prior to working in public defense, Kennedy was an associate at Talcott, Lightfoot, Vandevelde, Woehrle & Sadowsky, LLP, where he handled white collar criminal defense cases.

Education

  • BA, cum laude, Loyola Marymount University

  • JD, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles

 

Jamon HicksJamon R. Hicks

Vice Chair

Jamon R. Hicks is a Partner at Douglas / Hicks Law, APC in Los Angeles, California. He joined the firm as a name partner after spending four years as a Senior Associate with the Cochran Firm in Los Angeles, California. Jamon also worked for six years at the Law Offices of Carl E. Douglas in Los Angeles, California representing both plaintiffs and defendants, in both civil and criminal cases, in both state and federal courts. He is a trial lawyer extraordinaire. 

Mr. Hicks’ civil litigation experience involves civil rights, wrongful death, catastrophic personal injury, employment and police misconduct cases. He also has tried numerous felony and misdemeanor criminal cases to verdict including murder, driving under the influence, and drug and gun possession charges.

He has the unique experience of litigating both civil and criminal matters in federal and state courts. In 2020, he settled a wrongful death case for $5 million dollars arising out of a tragic car accident in Alameda, California. In 2019, he achieved a $1.5 million verdict with Engelman Law against a large residential management company for disability discrimination. In 2018, he achieved a $783,000 verdict for the Superintendent of El Monte Unified School District for retaliation. Prior to that verdict, he received a Not Guilty verdict in a Special Circumstances Murder trial. In 2015, he obtained a Not Guilty verdict in a high-profile case where he represented a celebrity esthetician charged with solicitation for murder. In 2018, he settled her civil matter for $275,000. In 2014, he successfully argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In the same year, he was also co- counsel on a legal team that obtained a $8.0 million dollar wrongful death verdict against the Los Angeles Sheriffs’ Department. In 2012, he obtained a $1.3 million dollar wrongful death verdict in Long Beach Court. He prides himself on representing David against Goliath.

In addition to practicing law, Mr. Hicks was hired as the youngest member of the adjunct faculty at Loyola Law School as a Trial Advocacy Professor. He is also an adjunct professor at West Los Angeles Law School, where he teaches classes on Evidence. For four years, he coached Loyola’s #4 nationally ranked Byrne Trial Advocacy Team. He currently serves as a guest lecturer teaching trial skills to law and high school students.

Mr. Hicks also participates on and helps organize numerous panels on criminal law, professional development, and other issues relevant to the legal community at various Los Angeles area law schools and community organizations. He has also been quoted and profiled in numerous newspaper publications including LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, CNN, Entertainment News, OC Register and Press enterprise.

Mr. Hicks serves on various professional, educational and community boards. In 2009, Mr. Hicks served as President for the John M. Langston Bar Association, where he was elected as the youngest president in the Association’s history. In 2012, he was elected as the youngest ever President of the California Association of Black Lawyers (CABL). For his outstanding leadership and dedication, Mr. Hicks received the CABL’s President’s Award at the completion of his term. He is a member of Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles (CAALA), Los Angeles County Bar Association (LACBA), Multi-Cultural Bar Association (MCBA), Los Angeles Junior Chamber of Commerce (LAJCC) and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. (KAY). He is also a member of the prestigious LA Chapter of 100 Black Men. Mr. Hicks was selected as National Bar Association and IMPACT’s Inaugural 2010 Nation’s Best Advocates: 40 Lawyers Under 40

 

IrmaIrma Hagans Cooper

Commissioner

An experienced nurse with leadership skills in health care management with a excellence record in working with physician and health care providers in utilization management, increased efficiency of review processes, improved financial of unit by managing patient care to appropriate levels of care, and streamlining operations for non-profit and for-profit healthcare organizations.

A self-directed leader who adapts to a variety of health care delivery setting and applies a flexible management approach that meets the current demands of the health care environment. Expertise includes outstanding skills in utilization management for clinical operations, communication skills, and Health Care Regulations Federal and State.

Education:

  • University of California, San Francisco: School of Nursing, California Master of Science, Clinical Specialist, Nursing Administration
  • Sonoma State University: Bachelor of Science, Nursing
  • University of California, Berkeley: Bachelor of Science, Public Health
  • Merritt College: Associate of Science, Nursing with Honors

Military:

United States Army Reserve, Colonel Retired, Army Nurse Corp, Bronze Star Recipient, Graduated from Army War College and held three Commands including one in Iraq.

Patti GiggansPatti Giggans

Commissioner

Executive Director of Peace Over Violence, appointed by Supervisor Kuehl

Giggans was appointed to the Commission in December 2016 and has served on the Family Assistance and Communication and the Mental Evaluation Team Program Ad Hoc Committees. She has been the Executive Director of Peace Over Violence since 1985. She achieved a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Non-profit Management. A black belt in Karate and master self-defense trainer, she founded Karate Women, the first martial arts school in Southern California in 1976. Giggans also founded Denim Day, an international sexual violence prevention education campaign.

Giggans has held numerous statewide and national leadership and advisory positions in the sexual assault and domestic violence arena, including the California Domestic Violence Advisory Council, 1in6, The Trauma Resource Institute, the Center for Council and The Joyful Heart Foundation. She is the former President of The California Coalition Against Sexual Assault and founding Board member of the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence.

Giggans has received the California Peace Prize, and she is a Durfee Foundation Stanton Fellow, among numerous additional awards. She has co-authored What Parents Need to Know About Teen Dating Violence, 50 Ways to A Safer World, and When Dating Becomes Dangerous: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Relationship Abuse.

 

LuisLuis S. Garcia

Commissioner

Dr. Luis S. Garcia is a Senior Program Manager at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP), a behavioral health consulting firm. He is also a registered associate clinical social worker, providing private-practice psychotherapy. His 20+-year career spans multiple sectors. He holds a steadfast commitment to addressing societal issues through a person-centered approach, including behavioral health access and the complex clinical needs of justice-involved populations.

He received his Ed.D. in educational leadership for social justice from Loyola Marymount University and M.S.W. from the University of Southern California. He earned his B.A. in theology from Loyola Marymount University.

Hon. Robert C. Bonner

Commissioner

Attorney and former U.S. Attorney and DEA Administrator, appointed by Supervisor Antonovich

Robert C. Bonner is a former United States District Judge and a former United States Attorney for the Central District of California. He served on the seven-member Citizens Commission on Jail Violence (CCJV) that examined the use of unnecessary and excessive force within the Los Angeles County Jail System, and he is the former Chair of the California Commission on Judicial Performance.  Aside from his public service, Bonner was a practicing lawyer in Los Angeles, engaged in both civil litigation and criminal defense.

Judge Bonner is currently engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and serves as both a neutral mediator and arbitrator of disputes. Judge Bonner is affiliated with Phillips ADR‘s distinguished panel of neutrals, is a member of the American Arbitration Association’s Master Mediation Panel, and is a member of FedArb, a panel of former federal judges who function as arbitrators and mediators. Judge Bonner is a retired former partner of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.   

Besides serving as a federal judge, Bonner’s government service includes heading several federal agencies, including his service as the Commissioner of U.S. Customs Service and, following the homeland security reorganization, as the first Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of the Department of Homeland Security. Earlier in his career, Bonner was the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).  

Judge Bonner is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.  He is also a member of Caltech’s Board of Trustees and Chair of its Audit and Compliance Committee. He has served on several committees of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, including the CBP Integrity Advisory Panel that evaluated use of force, transparency and other issues.  

Judge Bonner received his B.A. magna cum laude from the University of Maryland and his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center.

 

James P. Harris

Commissioner

Former Sheriff’s lieutenant, appointed by Supervisor Knabe

A lifelong resident of Los Angeles County, Mr. Harris spent 35 years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department working in variety of assignments in custody, courts, patrol, and administration. He retired in 2010 at the rank of lieutenant. He was staff to the Sheriff’s Department’s original Executive Force Review Committee.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from California State University Los Angeles and an Executive Masters in Leadership degree with a Certificate in Public Management from the University of Southern California. He attended the 215th Session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute for Police, as well as the Leadership Development Program at Cornell University.

Appointed by Supervisor Knabe and re-appointed by Supervisor Hahn, Mr. Harris is an original member of the Civilian Oversight Commission and serves on 8 of its ad hoc committees.

Lael Rubin

Commissioner

Former Deputy District Attorney, appointed by the Board of Supervisors

Lael R. Rubin, a former Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney for 34 years, tried complex cases and, as a manager for 12 years, she worked with community and law enforcement groups to develop policies which improved the criminal justice system. In addition to drafting and implementing the District Attorney’s Three Strikes policy, Lael worked with Stanford Law School and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to change the Three Strikes law statewide. She worked collaboratively to create the voter initiative, Proposition 36, in 2012, which was enacted as law. This law required that the third offense, in most instances, be serious or violent, thereby eliminating the onerous result of sentencing someone to 25 years to life for a minor offense.

Lael is also an expert on discovery and Brady matters. She led a task force of prosecutors, defense counsel and attorneys representing law enforcement to draft and implement methods of obtaining material in the possession of law enforcement. This material, complying with state and federal law, would then be provided to defense counsel in criminal cases in order for a defendant to have a fair trial. She developed policy and training on a number of issues, including forensic sciences and DNA. From 2005 until 2009, Lael supervised the Appellate Division which included oversight of habeas corpus litigation and claims of wrongful conviction. She also argued cases in the Appellate and California Supreme Courts. Lael is a skilled consensus builder and continues to work to improve the criminal justice system.

Following her retirement from the District Attorney’s Office in 2013, Lael volunteered with Public Counsel to assist veterans with criminal justice issues and served as a resource on immigration and domestic violence issues. Lael is currently vice chair of the Santa Monica Airport Commission. The Airport Commission acts in an advisory capacity to the City Council on matters relating to the Airport and aviation matters generally as they affect the City. The Commission also considers and recommends rules and regulations for the management and operation of the Airport. Lael received her B.A. degree with honors from the University of Michigan and her J.D. degree from the University of West Los Angeles School of Law. She is admitted to practice in California State Courts, U.S. District Court for the Central District and the U.S. Supreme Court.