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City Attorney Mike Aguirre believes he can file a lawsuit on behalf of the city and public without authorization from the City Council. A couple of weeks ago, the City Council tried to put a check on this by alerting the mayor that the auditor cannot approve payments for expenses the city attorney incurs while on one of these unilateral cases.
The mayor’s team, through Acting Deputy Comptroller Greg Levin, followed the council’s orders and sent this memo to Aguirre. It asks Aguirre to catalogue all of the litigation he’s involved in — not an easy task I’m sure.
Aguirre responded with a memo of his own to the City Council. Read it here. He claims the law that would hold back funds for his solo litigation efforts was passed without proper open-meeting notices. Therefore the law is not valid.
This is not a new claim, but now we have a once-verbal scuttle in writing.
I’ve got a more in-depth look at this in the works but if you wanted to peek at the memos, I thought I’d post them as soon as I could.
I think it’s a fascinating battle in the much bigger war that Aguirre started even before he took office. Aguirre has attacked the very definition of the city attorney’s job since his run for the post in 2004 and you’ve got to think that at some point a judge will need to determine whether he’s right or not on whether the city attorney answers only to the people.