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Couple of points:

  • This hearing is fascinating. Tom Story’s lawyer, Pam Naughton, is trying to get City Attorney Mike Aguirre disqualified from prosecuting the criminal misdemeanor case against Story.

Naughton alleges that Aguirre is misusing his criminal prosecution authority to pressure Story’s employer, Sunroad Enterprises, to impact a separate lawsuit Aguirre has against it.

A prosecutor is strictly prohibited — and rightly so — from using the threat of criminal prosecution to force a company to back down from its defense of a separate civil dispute.

Did Aguirre actually do that?

It’s becoming clear that Aguirre has not managed his office well and that what should be a strict divide between his civil work and criminal prosecution work is not being respected.

But if the question is whether Aguirre is specifically trying to pressure Sunroad to settle the lawsuit Aguirre filed against it for the controversial tower the company built near Montgomery Field, it will be tough to disqualify him.

I think it’s pretty clear that Aguirre just wanted to go after Sunroad with everything he could. He’s convinced the company is rotten so he’ll throw whatever he can at it.

He filed a lawsuit. He filed criminal charges. Heck, if he could give the company a speeding ticket and in-school suspension he would do that too.

From Andrew Donohue‘s post in This Just In:

Judge Michael Wellington pointed out that, on its face, there is nothing wrong with an office bringing dual criminal and civil cases on a related subject. The question in this case is whether something went terribly wrong, he said.

Naughton may prove, if she hasn’t already, that Aguirre didn’t maintain a solid wall between his criminal and civil divisions. But if her challenge is to prove that Aguirre was specifically trying to pressure Sunroad to settle his civil case against it, that doesn’t seem so easy.

I’m eager to see what tomorrow brings.

As long as we’re in the mood for reader participation, here’s another query:

Last night I dreamed I had been elected to the position of president of the City Council. I had to go chair a meeting but I was only wearing a T-shirt and jeans. I felt horribly underdressed.

But when I got there, I found out that three of my colleagues were absent and the four remaining were all my friends — all of them super loyal to me.

So I instantly got a rush. “Let’s do some legislating!”

Any law, any ordinance or regulation, I could have it.

But then I couldn’t think of anything. I was stuck. Everyone was looking at me and I was so excited to pass some great new laws but I didn’t have a clue. I was overwhelmed by the excitement.

So, here’s your challenge. Scott Peters has just announced that after this year, he won’t be council president.

But somebody has to be.

Do me a favor for my next dream then: Imagine you were council president and you had four incredibly loyal colleagues on the City Council who would approve whatever law you wanted. But you only had one day. What would you do?

I’ll put up the best answers.

SCOTT LEWIS

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