Chris Thompson was senior vice-president of Government relations for the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Los Angeles before being appointed by the city's new Mayor Karen Bass ©LinkedIn

Chris Thompson, chief of staff to Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, is expected to stay clear of issues related to the 2028 Olympics and Paralympics in his first year in the role.

Bass appointed Thompson, who was previously senior vice-president of Government relations for Los Angeles 2028, last November before she was sworn in as the first female Mayor of the city one month later.

Thompson had been registered as a City Hall lobbyist since November 2021 as part of his role at Los Angeles 2028, raising concerns over a potential conflict of interest when leading the Mayor’s office.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Thompson said that he would not be involved in issues associated with the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"We have a capable staff," said Thompson.

"We’ve got plenty of people who can handle these issues."

Bass has said that Thompson’s experience of working for Los Angeles 2028 was not the chief reason for his appointment.

She has also insisted that she was not prioritising preparations for the Games as she looks to deal with Los Angeles’ housing crisis with more than 40,000 people homeless in the city.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has stressed that solving the city's housing crisis was the priority ©Getty Images
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass has stressed that solving the city's housing crisis was the priority ©Getty Images

Concerns have been raised by Consumer Watchdog President Jamie Court who stressed the importance of ensuring that Thompson was not the "final decision marker" and was not involved in any issues related to Los Angeles 2028.

"City Hall will have the Olympics' biggest booster in the driver’s seat," Court told the Los Angeles Times.

Eric Sheehan, who is a member of campaign group NOlympicsLA, questioned Thompson’s comments, claiming that it was a "bit silly" for him to say that he could avoid working on the Games-related issues over the next 12 months.

Thompson started his career in Congress, ultimately serving as chief of staff to Senator Dianne Feinstein, and spent nearly seven years in various roles at Edison International, a public utility holding company, and Southern California Edison.

He also serves on the Boards of Directors of the PBS SoCal/Public Media Group of Southern California and the California Science Center Foundation and previously served on the Board of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Bass was declared the winner in the election against Rick Caruso, a former Republican who switched sides to the Democrats, on November 16 and had amassed an insurmountable lead of nearly 47,000 votes with 70 per cent of the vote counted.