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We reported yesterdaythat City Attorney Mike Aguirre has asked the California Attorney General’s Office to monitor this month’s election at the Municipal Employees Association, the largest union at City Hall.

Aguirre alleged that the union doesn’t have sufficient safeguards in place to protect the integrity of the election. Here is his letter.

MEA general manager Judie Italiano, the union’s former president, said Aguirre’s request is out of line and that his allegations are wrong.

“I don’t know where the city attorney has any authority to do this,” Italiano said. “I just think he’s sticking his nose into anything he can.”

She said she suspected that he was trying to influence the election in favor of challengers to the existing union leadership in an effort to convince them to drop their opposition to Aguirre’s attack on past pension deals.

Italiano also disputed some of Aguirre’s accusations in the letter. She said that the ballots are held in a post office box until they are counted at the end of the election, and won’t sit at the union’s headquarters as Aguirre alleged. Italiano also said that any candidate is allowed to be present during the counting process.

This will be the first election where these safeguards will be in place, Italiano said, because of the attention media outlets have given the contest in response to accusations that critics inside the union have made.

“This union has never had any issues with elections until now,” she said.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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