Antonio Villaraigosa, the two-term Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, is taking on a senior advisor role with Edelman focused on PR and public affairs assignments.

villraigosaSince leaving office in June because of term limits, Villaraigosa has counseled Banc of California, the embattled nutritional products company Herbalife (Edelman has worked with Herbalife critic Bill Ackman), and served as a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Politico, which first reported Villaraigosa's move, said the former state assemblyman will focus on clients with issues in the public policy realm, based mostly in L.A.

Gail Becker chairs the Canada, Latin America and U.S. Western region for Edelman from Los Angeles.  James Williams is GM for the L.A. office.

Villaraigosa limited outside PR work with the city during his tenure, following a three-year ban on hiring PR firms in the wake of the 2004 FleishmanHillard overbilling scandal. He criticized a $1.3M pact with Hill+Knowlton and Rogers Group in 2008, saying one firm should handle the work until city staffers could be trained. 

Edelman PA chair Katie Burke: "We are thrilled to welcome Antonio to the Edelman family and particularly to the Public Affairs practice, which is a priority area of growth and investment for the firm both in the U.S. and globally."