SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica City Attorney Lane Dilg revealed on Thursday, February 15 that George Cardona was hired as Special Counsel/Chief of Staff for the City Attorney’s Office. According to a press release from the city of Santa Monica, Cardona comes from the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, where he served in leadership roles since 2002. His new role will include assisting 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, where he was responsible for over 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.

He led the federal government’s civil action alleging that ratings agency Standard & Poor’s engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) and Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDOs). It 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,” said United States Attorney Nic Hanna. “His move west is wonderful for the City of Santa Monica and a huge loss to the United States Attorney’s Office.”

Cardona also served as a Deputy District Attorney in Los Angeles County and an Assistant City Attorney in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office and was a teacher 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. His new position started on Tuesday, February 20, with 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.