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City Attorney Mike Aguirre has been forced to recuse himself and his office from prosecuting Tom Story, the executive with Sunroad Enterprises whom Aguirre accused of illegally lobbying city officials.

Here’s Judge Michael D. Wellington’s ruling, which reads in part:

In summary, the evidence clearly establishes that Mr. Aguirre personally is conflicted between his obligations as a prosecutor and his obligations to protect the City from what he has characterized as a “potential multi-million dollar liability.” The gravity of the conflict is demonstrated in a variety of ways. Chief among them are: his use of his prosecutorial authority to threaten criminal charges and to offer immunity from prosecution to gain advantage in the civil case; his extensive personal embroilment in both cases; and his fatal weakening of what should have been a protective “ethical wall” between the Criminal and Civil Divisions. Many of these factors individually would be sufficient to warrant recusal. Taken together, they demonstrate clearly that the conflict is so significant that it is unlikely the defendant will receive a fair trial if the City attorney prosecutes.

This is a brutal rebuke to Aguirre and a damning assessment of his management, his actions and the very way he defines his job.

SCOTT LEWIS

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