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Laura Chick Jumps into LA Politics with Criticism of City Attorney Trutanich Who Responds Sharply to Her Open Letter

EDITOR’S NOTE: The lawsuit between the Controller and City Attorney over authority to audit the operations of other elected officials was ultimately found to be moot by the state appellate court because by the time the trial court ruled against the Controller Wendy Greuel, City Attorney Trutanich had cooperated voluntarily in the audit of his office’s handling of Worker Compensation cases. “On his first day in office, Mr. Trutanich had reversed the position of the former City Attorney and invited the Controller to conduct the audit. He remained true to his word, not only cooperating with the auditors but providing City Attorney’s office staff to support the audit team,” the appellate court said. (Greuel-Trutanich)

Former Controller threw her support Tuesday to Assemblyman Mike Feuer in the City Attorney’s race in an “Open Letter to the People of Los Angeles”:

During my tenure as Los Angeles City Controller, people often asked me, “What exactly does a Controller do?”  My answer was always the same: to protect the public’s money and to make government work better for the people. My job was to ask AND answer the tough questions. How are we doing? How can we do it better? To maximize my efforts, I also looked for partners among other elected officials who believed in transparency at City Hall.

I remember April 15, 2009 like it was yesterday.  That’s when I stood in front of Los Angeles City Hall and lent my support to a man who called himself  “The People’s Attorney…dedicated to restoring honesty, integrity, accountability and transparency” to city government.  I admit, I bought into the hype of this so-called “City Hall Outsider.”  I took him at his word when he promised he’d be a breath of fresh air, who would cleanse the musty halls of power, and who would continue my own work of restoring honesty and integrity to the people’s business.  When I said that day, “I think he’ll make an outstanding City Attorney,” I truly believed it.

But it didn’t take long for me to realize I had made a terrible mistake.  Shortly after taking office, Mr. Trutanich reneged on his pledge to support the City Controller’s ability to conduct audits of multi-million dollar programs housed in elected officials office’s, especially the City Attorney’s office. With this one breathtaking reversal the so-called “People’s Attorney” revealed himself to be a liar and demagogue, who would not only lie to me to gain my political support, but whose clear intention was to squash transparency and disallow the scrutiny of how taxpayers dollars are spent.

A simple Google search will yield dozens of news stories documenting Mr. Trutanich’s sizable record of broken promises, shattered pledges and misleading tactics. From violating his pledge not to seek higher office, to reneging on his debt to LA’s BEST, to his recent questionable actions in favor of campaign contributors, Mr. Trutanich has broken faith with the people of Los Angeles.

Thankfully, L.A. County voters saw Mr. Trutanich for who he really is, and rejected him in his recent bid to replace Steve Cooley as District Attorney.  But we’re not out of the woods.  For despite his recent trouncing at the polls, and in the face of numerous calls for him to bow out gracefully from the public stage, Mr. Trutanich is stubbornly seeking a second term as City Attorney.  Four more years of Mr. Trutanich, however, is the last thing Los Angeles needs.  Now more than ever, Los Angeles requires a City Attorney who will tell the truth, has high moral standards, and exemplifies the virtues of integrity, dependability and courage of conviction.  That’s why I strongly encourage every concerned citizen in Los Angeles to do their due diligence before they cast their ballot for City Attorney this coming March.  Once they do, I trust they will agree with me that Mr. Trutanich must go.




It is a huge surprise that Laura Chick, of all persons, is bringing up this four-year-old controversy because her own conduct in it was so disgraceful.

The facts are that former City Controller Chick initiated the dispute, by issuing subpoenas, against the then City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.  Chick lost – and then she asked the city to pick up the tab for her attorney’s legal fees and expenses, amounting to about $200,000. When she asked Trutanich to dismiss the case (and by doing so allow her attorney to be awarded fees from the city), Trutanich said he would not. He told her his job was to protect the taxpayers, not soak them. Chick’s reply, according Trutanich and others in the room, was that picking up her attorney Fred Woocher’s legal fees “will not break the bank” – meaning the city’s treasury.

That’s a deliciously callous and ironic remark coming out of the mouth of Chick, then-city controller, whose job was to protect the city’s pocketbook.  Does Laura Chick deny asking for that special favor from Trutanich?

The fact is that when Chick asked for the city to dismiss the case she was not arguing for the principle of transparency and audit rights (dismissal would not have established the controller’s right to audit elected officials’ departments) she was arguing for her own pocketbook interests. She had, in effect, a financial conflict. No dismissal meant she personally was on the hook to pay the fees of the attorney she had retained.

Reporters should ask Fred Woocher, her attorney, if his client has paid him. Maybe he’s dunning her even now. We don’t know. He should be asked. So should Chick.

And when it comes down to the issue of whether Trutanich lived up to his pledge to be transparent, who are we to believe: Chick, who had (and may still have) a financial stake in this matter and is a sore loser, or three state Court of Appeals judges, who ruled that Trutanich was “true to his word” – meaning he lived up to his pledge and voluntarily allowed his office to be audited by the city controller. In fact, Trutanich was perhaps the first city elected official in the city’s history to allow such an audit.  The direct quote from the decision of the three-judge panel is:

 “…[I]t was plain by at least October 2009 that City Attorney Trutanich supported the Controller’s audit and was fully cooperating with the auditors. On his first day in office, Mr. Trutanich had reversed the position of the former City Attorney and invited the Controller to conduct the audit. He remained true to his word, not only cooperating with the auditors but providing City Attorney’s office staff to support the audit team.”

When Chick  blames Trutanich for making the decision not to dismiss the case she’s also rewriting history like crazy. She was told by the City Attorney’s office that Trutanich could not unilaterally make the dismiss-or-not-to-dismiss decision. The client – the Los Angeles city council – had that authority. In fact, the council views were well known; when Chick asked the council to hire an attorney to sue then-City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo to establish the principle that her office (Chick was then city controller) was entitled to do performance audits of the departments of elected city officials (mayor, city council, city attorney and city controller) the council rejected her request. Later, after Chick lost in the trial court (a loss she suffered while Delgadillo was still City Attorney), Chick approached the council to bail her out of her personal, financial fix. The council offered to dismiss the case and pay $80,000 – not $200,000 to her attorney – if Chick waived her right to appeal the case. She refused the offer, appealed and lost again.

Chick’s attacks, while not coming on the letterhead of the Michael Feuer campaign, are the obvious stuff of political shenanigans.

Remember: Mike Feuer is running for city attorney after voters forced him out of the state assembly. In 2008, Feuer was one of 20 career politicians who brazenly used their own campaign money to save their Sacramento jobs (Feuer spent $25,000 on tha campaign).  The gang of 20 provided critical support to Prop. 93, a measure designed to make it easier for these politicians to stay in their Sacramento jobs. That measure was defeated by a 2:1 margin by voters. That defeat left Feuer with no legal way to remain in the state assembly when his current term expires this coming December.

In 1999, Feuer was defeated in his first bid to win election to the LA City Attorney’s post by Rocky Delgadillo. Observers at the time said Feuer lost in part because his background as a Harvard lawyer did not click with voters.

Chick Responds to Trutanich Statement which was issued by political consultant John Schwada, formerly City Hall reporter for Fox News 11:

“Having been covered by John Schwada when he was on FOX I am accustomed to him getting the facts wrong.  Let me correct him again.  I did not sue the City as he claims in his statement, the City Attorney sued me to bar me from doing my job.The fees were for defending the taxpayers in the case.  Carmen Trutanich pledged that he would support the Controller’s right to conduct audits in city elected official’s offices.  The he reneged when he became City Attorney.  End of story.”

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22 Responses to Laura Chick Jumps into LA Politics with Criticism of City Attorney Trutanich Who Responds Sharply to Her Open Letter

  1. Sierra says:

    On this particular issue (cooperating with Laura Chick so that her attorney would be paid with taxpayer dollars), I side with Trutanich.

    But I don’t side with him being a criminal defense attorney for the City Council and City Managers.

    I will defer to Noel Weiss for the legal explanation on how the City Attorney can move in a direction to protect the public from the criminal actions of the City Council, Mayor, or City Managers.

  2. Bob "Mitt" Blumenstuff Rebuttal to the Swada rebuttal of the Trutanich Rebuttal says:

    As a former Supreme Court Attorney, I’ll set the record straight here. I hereby retort to the Swada rebuttal to the rebuttal of the Hon. Carmen Trutanich (“Nuch.”)
    First Point—-John Swada was FIRED by FOX. Need I say more. Now this Clown is besmirching the grand work of Nuch. I respect Nuch because he ran for 2 Jobs like ME.
    As I’ve pointed out before, the Cal. Election Code allows public officials to do everything in their power to be as sneaky and rotten as possible without getting caught!
    Second Point—Nuch did a 180–Yes, He told you all where to go and how to go. Good Going Nuch! He decided to buy the D.A.’s race. He nearly got a 2nd place finish. Good try. Give him kudos for that!
    Third Point—Nuch’s 75 campaign donors can buy his 2nd term to office, right? They’re going to buy me CD3 after I fend off the viciousness of the Valley Colonists and other Dissidents. So if these offices are for sale, why all the fuss, Ms. Chick(en)?
    What’s wrong, Madam Fowl, can’t you find an office to fill? Or are you unable to get the campaign donors to buy you one. Wah Wah Wah Laura!
    Fourth Point—Laura Chick(en) and John Fired Swada HAVE ZERO CREDIBILITY. To have merit, you must have a State funded Pension, a free car, free season seats to whatever team you like AT A MINIMUM. Nuch has those or is working on it.
    Fifth Point—What is this “reneged” word all about. It sounds like a racial slur! Are you a racist Mr. Fired?
    Sixth Point—Isn’t Dennis Zine the City Controller yet? WHAT THE HELL IS TAKING SO LONG? Let’s just anoint Denis to his new 8 year publicly funded six figure salaried gig! And he gets his LAPD pension too!
    In fact let’s do away with all this silly voting stuff. Let’s just bus in the voters and have them register on election day so we win easier and FOR CHEAPER MONEY!
    ….HEY, JERRY BROWN JUST SIGNED THAT INTO LAW TODAY! Thanks a million Jerry! Oh boy! Now we can bus in extra voters and have them register and vote AT THE SAME TIME, just like the Chicago Wards, NY City Burroughs, and other third world cities. Man, what a Country!
    Don’t worry Nuch, now I know you’re gonna win.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I agree with Sierra on this issue. Laura Chick in her vindictiveness towards Trutanich is supporting someone worse-Feur- who has never stepped into a courtroom or held a job other than feeding at the public trough.

  4. MovingOut says:

    Laura Chick is lying through her teeth. She initially attempted to audit a specific program within City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo’s office, and Delgadillo said the Charter did not give the authority to audit the offices of other elected officials. She then attempted to go to court to establish her authority to do this audit, but she obviously couldn’t use the City Attorney’s lawyers to sue City Attorney Delgadillo. Therefore, she went before City Council, requesting funding for an outside lawyer. The City Council voted against funding this outside lawyer – most likely because, if successful, it would also establish her right to audit them. Nevertheless, Chick through lawyer Fred Woocher filed her lawsuit. When asked how she was paying Woocher’s fees she explained that Woocher was doing this work pro bono (meaning for free). She had to make that explanation because hiring Woocher for a fee after being explicitly denied authorization to do so would have constituted malfeasance.

    During the election campaign Trutanich said that he supported Chick’s right to audit the City Attorney’s office, and Chick announced her support for him. Chick and Woocher lost their lawsuit against Delgadillo before Trutanich’s election. She and Wendy Greuel – the new controller – then requested that Woocher’s fees be paid by the City. Trutanich, by then the City Attorney, refused, giving as reason that Woocher was supposedly, and in Chick’s own words, working pro bono. Caught in her lie, Chick announced that she had “miss-spoken” when she made that assertion – as if she didn’t understand what pro bono meant. That’s when Chick declared Trutanich a liar. You judge who was the liar at that point.

    In the meantime, Trutanich did follow through and allowed the new Controller, Wendy Greuel, to carry out the audit Chick had been denied.

  5. Sierra says:

    Ironically, I liked the idea of Laura Chick going after “elected officials,” but she sought monies from the City Council, they denied it, and she went ahead with her attorney planning to seek reimbursement. At that point she was on her own despite

    Here is Rick Orlov’s Dec. 11, 2008 article:

    An angry and defiant City Controller Laura Chick, rebuffed by the City Council in her request for $100,000 to hire a private attorney, said Wednesday she will not back down from her legal fight with City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo.

    While the council voted 11-1 to reject the funds, Chick said she has found a private attorney who has agreed to take the case anyway – and send the city a bill.

  6. Steve Presberg says:

    As the chief drafter of the language for the Elected Charter Reform Commission in 1998-99, I can tell you that our intent was to provide the broadest possible language to permit the Controller to audit any office or program where City money is being spent. This never ending dispute points out once again another reason why former Mayor Riordan was correct in calling for an appointed City Attorney. The City Attorney should not be a policy-maker. He/she ought to be a zealous advocate for the interests and positions of the City as a whole, as directed by the Mayor and Council. Yet, by electing a City Attorney, we create a politician who has political interests, and feels free to take blatantly political positions.

    The City Charter should be amended to provide for an appointed City Attorney.

    • anonymous says:

      Mr. Presberg,
      so, you suggest, if the LA Mayor and Council
      appoint the City Attorney then…the CA
      would not take “blatantly political positions”
      you are mistaken….
      the bureaucratic apparatus…the Mayor and Council…
      are the most blatantly political positions in LA…
      and they will appoint like-minded underlings…

  7. Teddy says:

    I met Laura Chick about 20-25 years ago when she worked in LA City Council woman’s office. We went to her about the city’s decision to close the Senior
    Citizen Dining Room in Canoga Park. She understood the problem, promised
    to fix it and she did. Laura Chick is not a liar.

    Et tu, Tru?

  8. KS says:

    Nuch didn’t reply – John Schwada did!

    John… dude! Noooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    We need an intervention for John immediately!

  9. cynic says:

    Now , Carmen calling Laura a liar. LOL. And Schwada having crossed the aisle , LOL twice. That tough political reporter John…..Guess reporters are humans and sing the song of their masters.

  10. Teddy says:

    Dear Cynic, What you have written explains the sins of not only the elected but also the electorate.

    Laura Chick is of the training many of us received in the “golden olden days”.
    I trust her.

  11. Tyndon Clusters says:

    A horrible choice, Nuch or Feuer…its like the scene in “Roots”, when “Toby” is asked what choice he would make between having his feet cut off or his _ _ _ _ cut off.

    Yeah, a crude but accurate analogy.

  12. Ricardo says:

    We are really screwed on every level with these incompetent fools seeking office. I don’t support Nuch but Laura is the last person on this earth who should be pointing fingers. Noel Weiss if you’re out there how can we have City Council offices audited? How can we find out where they spend their discretionary funds? Laura Chick remember had that private meeting at her house with her paid staff and invited the Mayoral candidates except Mayor Hahn.. She appears to be very sneaky and slimy.

  13. Wayne from the most corrupt city since humans invented the wheel says:

    Laura Chick is a BIRDBRAIN! She’s a fowl kind of political Bird. Janis “chicken-head” Hahn is a Rhodes scholar next to Laura Chick-Fil-A! Remember Laura took that job with Schwarzenegger’s staff to be some kind of problem solver. Geez, that went well, didn’t it?

  14. Noel Weiss says:

    Hi Ricardo:

    Thanks for the shout-out. . . . . . Audit the Council Offices. . . You bet!!

    The best way is what I would call ‘open source auditing’. . . . Every single expenditure (and I mean ‘every’) can and should be put on line by the Controller’s office. . . . We live in an age where Google (a $6+ Billion Dollar Corporation) knows where every dime is, every minute of the day. . .

    Then, we have our ‘citizen auditors’ go on line and create a clear and explicable trail as to where the money goes. . . . . No more obfuscation. . . . No more ‘games’. . .

    The same should be true for the City Attorney and for the Mayor. . . . (and that includes every letter written by the City Attorney, along with the publication of his schedule. . . . . . I would also advocate for insisting to know where our City Councilman are when they miss Committee Meetings. . . and for the Clerk to note for the record when they arrive, when the meeting starts, and when they end. . . Many councilman have not done the job if ‘doing the job’ represents showing up to committee meetings where they are members and not chairpersons. . . . (another reason to consider amending the Charter to have one Neighborhood Member serve ex officio on each Council Committee (no vote; but having a right to participate and question. . .This is important particularly on land use issues where the unwritten protocol is that the wants and desires of the Councilperson in whose district the development is intended control, regardless of whether it is legal. . . . . Where the City Attorney stands silent and does little or nothing. . . thereby turning the office into a mouthpiece in support of the councilperson’s political interests when the City Attorney should be (and I contend is) the attorney for the people. . . .

    I strongly disagree with Steve Presberg and Mayor Riordan that the City Attorney should be appointed. . . The City Attorney should be chosen by the people. . . The City Attorney is paid by the people; like every other attorney, the City Attorney represents the people who select him (or her) and who pay him (or her).

    One of the true ethical scandals tolerated by all of the insiders and well-connected special interests and those who represent them is the dual and conflicting representation which the City Attorney affords the various City and proprietary agencies. . . It is ethically improper for an attorney to represent clearly conflicting interests without the clients’ informed consent. . . . When was the last time the City Council consented to have the City Attorney represent the Council, on the one hand, and the Pension Plans on the other (just one example. . . One (the Council is the debtor; the other, the Pension Plans are creditors of the City. . . Yet the City Attorney represents them both. . This is wrong. . .Ditto the dual representation of the City and the proprietary agencies. . . The policy makers on both sides are denying themselves objective, competent legal advice. . . To the detriment of the broader body politic. . .

    My view is that the City is a public trust, not a municipal corporation (a complete fiction designed to provide cover for diluting the ability of the City Attorney to really represent the people. . . To those who disagree, I’d be interested in seeing your stock certificate showing ‘ownership’ of this so-called (and ‘legally undefined’ and (from my perspective) legally undefinable) ‘corporation’. We are not ‘shareholders’ and the City Council is not a ‘Board of Directors’. . . . Rather, what we have is a ‘public trust’, where the City Council are ‘public trustees’ and we, the people’ are the ‘beneficiaries’ of that public trust.

    It makes a huge difference in terms of the attorney’s legal duties and responsibilities. The law which defines an attorney’s role vis-a-vis a corporation and its shareholders is different in many respects from the law which defines an attorney’s role vis-a-vis a trust. An attorney owes duties to a trustee and to the beneficiaries. . . . It is on this basis that I define the City Attorney’s role as our (the people’s) attorney because we are owed duties by the City Attorney that are not being fulfilled. . . .

    Examining this latest ‘bait and switch’ by AEG is another example. . .It is ‘classic’ conduct (call it land entitlement speculation 101) that when seeking valuable land use entitlements from the City, the solicitor of those entitlements will do and say and promise anything and everything to get those entitlements (I call it delivering a ‘promise’ and in return for receipt of the City’s ‘performance’ (the desired entitlements). A pure ‘promise for performance’ dynamic is rarely very good. . . .and there always need to be a ‘mitigation dynamic’ to protect and secure the expectancy.

    So our attorney, the City Council, should speak up now. . in public. . in writing. . . and tell us, his clients, the beneficiaries of this public trust that is the City of Los Angeles, how the people’s expectancy is going to be protected. . . .

    Because you see, the way this little ‘game’ works is that the land use entitlements are granted (thereby putting immediate dollars into the pockets of the land use entitlement speculator), and then when the promise cannot be fulfilled, the City Council either (a) forgets about one or more of the promises and refuses to enforce them, or (b) gets the promised modified to suit the needs of the land use entitlement speculator (or his, her, or its successor).

    The Mayor violated his fiduciary responsibilities to the City by keeping silent on facts he knew would impact the City debate. But anyone who has dealt with these situations should have reasonably anticipated the ‘bait and switch’ pulled on the people of LA by AEG. . . . . at least in this case, the ‘switch’ was revealed before the vote, albeit at a time when AEG figures it does not matter anyway. . . .

    But the City Attorney can have and should have anticipated it regardless. Then what? Jan Perry and others tell the City Attorney to remain silent. . and the City Attorney is supposed to do so? Why? So Jan Perry’s political interests can be protected and advanced? That is not the role of the City Attorney. . . . Yet it goes on all the time, under the false guise that the Council member is the ‘client’ of the City Attorney. . .

    Complete nonsense. . . . . City government is world where the political considerations very prominently overlap with legal considerations. Therefore, the role of the City Attorney is special. . . . The rule should be that where the political interests of a councilmember conflict with the broader (legal) public interests, the broader legal interests win. . . . every time. . .

    Application of this rule would provide a viable check and balance on political corruption, laziness, mediocrity, and inexcusable neglect of the council members (who apparently are not paid enough to spend the time to thoroughly educate themselves on the facts by attending committee meetings. . . in which they are not Chairpersons. . . on a regular basis). . .

    So in the AEG situation, the City Attorney needs to spell out precisely how the City’s expectancy is protected. . . . . Have the covenants and promises been recorded against the property so that they are binding on successors in interest? If so, identify them; if not, tell the people why not? A portion of the deal involves one or more land leases. . The City, as property owner, must approve an assignment of those leases. . . But the range of criteria which controls the standard and nature of the approval (which must be reasonable) must be spelled out. . What is that range in this case?

    You all, I’m sure, get the picture. . .

    This next campaign for City Attorney really has to bring out the need for a real check and balance on the Council, the Mayor, and the Controller. . . We don’t have it now. . . That is probably what people thought they were voting for. . . Instead they got a phony lap-dog who has experienced serious difficulties in competent management, skilled political leadership, and consistency when it comes to following through on what he promised the people when they hired him. . . . Duplicity and deflection pretty much sums it up. . . and it is not a pretty picture. . . .

    To his credit, Ron has admitted having made a mistake in ‘shilling’ for Nuch during the last campaign. . . . . Hopefully this time around, we can get something approaching a decent discussion about what it will take (and indeed whether it is desirable) for the office to begin to operate as a ‘check and balance’ on political excesses of the Mayor, the Council, and the Controller. . . .

    I know of nowhere else in the legal world where an attorney is supposed to ignore the legal rights and prerogatives of those who select him or her, and who pay him or her. The City Attorney has the potential to be the most powerful office in the City if it is run right. . . .

    This idea that the office has to ‘roll-over’ and exists to serve the political interests of the council members and their special interest friends has to be displaced with the idea that if the Council members want to try to use the law to serve their own political interests, then they need to hire their own lawyers. . . The role of the City Attorney is not to smooth the political path for the Council members, their friends, or the well-connected special interests they often serve (to the detriment of the broader body politic). . .It is to represent the legal interests of the beneficiaries of this public trust known as the City of Los Angeles. . . .we, the people (the broader body politic). . . .

    Just that simple change would make a huge difference. . . . .

    Meanwhile, the City Attorney’s silence in the face of a clear and needed written opinion explaining to us how the City is protected by AEG’s ‘bait and switch’ is as deafening as it is disappointing.

    Noel Weiss

  15. Anonymous says:

    Noel Weiss with due respect, you live in a dream world. Trutanich has made the case for an appointed City Attorney & the Neighborhood Councils’ record for abolishing them. The city will save money.

  16. Noel Weiss says:

    To Anonymous:

    Please make your case for an appointed City Attorney with something more than a conclusory opinion. . . . . The only people who would want an appointed City Attorney are the special interest, insider, crony-types who want to continue to take advantage of the system for their individual benefit. . . . .

    The City Attorney can and should act as a ‘check and balance’ on the Mayor, Controller, and Council. . . Just as you would want your attorney to do for you. . . .

    Anonymous, I’ll pit my ‘dream’ against your ‘nightmare’ any day of the week, month, or year.


  17. Bob "Mitt" Blumenstuff Rebuttal to the rebuttal of Noel Weiss to the rebuttal of anonymous' rebuttal to the John Swada rebuttal to the Laura Chicken Rebuttal (DAMN THIS IS CONFUSING.) says:

    NOEL WEISS FOR CITY ATTORNEY! (Um…I mean Feuer, um….Trutanich….um whoever my campaign donors tell me and my pets who to vote for.)

  18. Noel Weiss says:

    Love it!

    Now that’s the spirit!!


  19. Wayne the Acting Chief Engineer of the 405 Carmaggeddon II Project says:

    Behind the large chunks of Cement that fell from the Mulholland Bridge we found $69,000,000,000 more of State Highway Funds that were missing! We also found thousands of “David Vahedi for City Council” signs too. Yep, there’s Gold in dem hills!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Noel—The City Attorney’s budget is dependent on the will of the Mayor & City Council. Let’s have a Bill of Rights about their duties.

  21. Jean Fleming says:

    Ron, I agree with you as usual. Jean Fleming

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