Instead of promoting someone within the embattled Assessor's Office, county officials are considering tapping another department head to fill in for Assessor John Noguez, who is stepping aside while being investigated for alleged corruption.
County Chief Executive Officer William Fujioka recommended Santos Kreimann, currently director of the county Department of Beaches and Harbors, to become chief deputy assessor.
The Board of Supervisors will vote next week on whether to endorse Kreimann. Noguez will appoint the chief deputy assessor, who will be his stand-in while he is on paid leave of absence.
Noguez has already said he is "looking forward" to appointing Kreimann.
"I encourage my staff to support Santos Kreimann during my absence," Noguez said in a statement. "He will have my full authority to manage and oversee the department."
Fujioka said Tuesday that Kreimann, "with his background in real estate and his very strong - to the point of exceptional - management skills, would be an ideal candidate for this assignment."
But Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said the board needed more time to consider the matter and postponed the vote until next week.
Kreimann has worked for the county for more than 20 years. He has led the Department of Beaches and Harbors, which has an annual budget of $41 million, since 2009.
His duties include negotiating residential, commercial, retail and hotel development deals on behalf of the county, enforcing existing lease terms and conditions, and managing the small craft harbor in Marina del Rey.
His office is also responsible for maintaining more than 25 miles of county beaches, from Point Fermin in San Pedro to Nicolas Canyon in Malibu.
Noguez temporarily stepped down at the beginning of the month, saying he wanted to restore "public confidence in the professionalism, integrity and impartiality of the Assessor's Office."
The District Attorney's Office is investigating allegations Noguez's office reduced property taxes for his campaign contributors. It has served search warrants on Noguez's home and office, and several other locations.
A former appraiser, Scott Schenter, has been charged with unlawfully reducing property values in exchange for contributions to Noguez's campaign. Noguez has denied wrongdoing.