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Councilman Herb Wesson eulogizing Charmette Bonpua, his late chief of staff.
HUNDREDS ATTEND CITY HALL TRIBUTE FOR CHARMETTE BONPUA
Hundreds of her City of Los Angeles colleagues, friends and community residents came to the City Hall Rotunda Friday to mourn the passing and celebrate the life of Charmette Bonpua, Chief of Staff to Councilmember Herb Wesson.
Bonpua, who also served as Councilmember Wesson's Chief of Staff and Special Counsel when he served in Sacramento as a member and later as Speaker of the California State Assembly, recently passed away following complications which occurred after she suffered an aneurysm while vacationing with her family.
"This has been a terrible loss, not only for me personally, but for the people of our community, said Wesson. "Charmette was a brilliant, loyal and trusted advisor. From very humble beginnings in the Philippines, she rose to become one of the most powerful staffers in California. When I asked her to come to Los Angeles, she didn't hesitate. She relished the challenge. We worked together for eleven years and her leadership made a tremendous difference. She will be greatly missed."
The sudden passing of Bonpua deeply affected many in the city family with whom she had worked since Councilmember Wesson joined the City Council in 2005.
Those who came to pay tribute and share their experiences included Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City Controller Wendy Greuel, Council President Eric Garcetti, and Councilmembers Dennis Zine, Tony Cardenas, Paul Koretz, Jan Perry, Tom LaBonge, Bernard Parks, and Bill Rosendahl. Also offering reflections was Avak Keotahian, a long-time staffer with the Office of the Chief Legislative Analyst who had worked with Bonpua.
Charmette Bonpua's special relationship with the LAPD was recalled by Police Chief Charlie Beck, and Captain Eric Davis-Wilshire Division, Captain Evangeline Nathan-West LA, and Captain Steven Zipperman-Southwest LA.
Earlier in the week, Bonpua was honored by Assembly Speaker Karen Bass and other members of the Assembly in the Assembly Chamber, and Mayor Villaraigosa ordered the flags at all city facilities to be flown at half-staff in her memory. In a special tribute to Bonpua, Wesson and his staff wore Barongs, the traditional embroidered ceremonial garment of the Philippines.