Monday, June 25, 2007

Who are attorneys supposed to represent when they're paid by a city?

You might think that Cheryl Cox, former CVESD trustee and now mayor of Chula Vista, would somehow be in charge of what the City of Chula Vista does. Cheryl says it isn't so.

She might have had something to do with the choice of John Witt, former San Diego city attorney, as a special counsel for Chula Vista. But she has nothing to do with the fact that he is suing city council candidate Patty Chavez for $100,000 because she lent herself $11,000 for her campaign and didn't report it to her opponent, Rudy Ramirez.

You might think Rudy Ramirez has something to do with this draconian attack on a housewife who ran for office. After all, he might want to strike some fear into her so she won't dare run against him again. Rudy himself is under investigation, he says. He claims he will be vindicated. Somehow, I think he's right. I don't imagine John Witt feels the same way about Ramirez that he does about Chavez. Ramirez is a Republican and Chavez is a Democrat.

Cheryl Cox says she's formed a committee to look at the rules.

How about a committee to look at how the rules are enforced, Cheryl? You've made it clear that you believe attorneys who work for cities should represent the interests of the elected officials. Somehow, I don't think you've changed your mind about that.

Jon Osborn of La Mesa disagrees with Cheryl Cox regarding the proper recipient of a public lawyer's loyalty.
On June 22, 2007 he wrote to the San Diego Union-Tribune:
"Judith Wenker (Letters, June 20) asked "How can [City Attorney Mike Aguirre] expect his city official clients, to whom he owes the duty of confidentiality and competent legal advice, to confide in him...? The client to which Mike Aguirre owes those duties is the city of San Diego."

Why do so many public officials depend so much on secrecy? Why can't public business be carried out in the open?

Legalized bribery

Am I missing something, or is our campaign finance system simply legalized bribery?

I don't see that giving huge sums of money to candidates is freedom of speech. It's freedom to drown out the speecch of others.

And fat cats who throw around large sums are making an implied threat: do what I want, or I'll drown you out. I'll give my money to your opponent, and blast you off the airwaves.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The People Don't Understand Leslie Devaney

Leslie Devaney, who ran against Mike Aguirre for City Attorney in 2004, says:

"Until the public understands the role of the city attorney, I'm not ready to run for the position again."*

Translation: As long as people think the City Attorney is supposed to represent ALL the people, and not merely protect the people in office, she won't be a part of it.

* from Voice of San Diego, "Aguirre's Foes Search for Champion," by EVAN McLAUGHLIN Monday, June 11, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunroad-like deals happen all the time, but it appears that no one notices unless the FAA intervenes

Yesterday Murtaza Baxamusa wrote in Voice of San Diego about "The Sweet Deal for Developers."

"The witch-hunt for nefarious actors on the Sunroad project ignores the reality of the sweet deal developers get every day at the Development Services Department...

"Development Services boasts of efforts to "streamline the permitting process," including over-the-counter permits and "inspectors for hire," demonstrating an apologetic culture in implementing regulations.

"The results are impressive. Development Services continues to get high customer service points in developer surveys...

"Add a developer-friendly streamlined review process to a badly written development agreement, and you have a disaster waiting to happen...In April 2006, FAA started noticing this tall [Sunroad] building, and the rest is history ..."

Sunday, June 10, 2007

You know a lawyer is planning to cover up crimes when...

You know a lawyer is planning to cover up crimes when he asks to be indemnified. That's what Bonny Garcia asked--and received--from San Diego County's deeply corrupt Otay Water District a few years ago.

SDCERS, the San Diego City Employee Retirement System, should not have agreed to pay for the defense of its lawyer, Loraine Chapin, in 2005. That case has still not gone to trial. It appears that SDCERS wanted to make sure Chapin continued to help them get away with wrongdoing. But when Chapin's lawyer asked in 2006 to be indemnified, the pension board balked. If he does a good job covering up Chapin's wrongdoing, he won't need to defend himself. Apparently the board wants him to do a really good job.