Thursday June 21, 2007 | San Diego City Councilman Ben Hueso has it right. City Attorney Mike Aguirre made it clear to his neighborhood prosecutors that they would be used to gain political leverage over Council in this budget dispute. One need only look at the types of assignments that Mr. Aguirre has given to high paid, high-level deputies in his office to realize that he is wasting excessive amounts of money and time in other areas of his office.
Such wasted funds could easily be used for neighborhood prosecutors. For instance, Mr. Aguirre assigned several deputies in his environmental unit to research “global warming,” create a Global Warming Seminar, hoping ultimately to go to local schools and inform the students.
Is this a job for city attorneys? Isn’t Global Warming a policy issue? How about “Gopher Gate?” Waste of money and time. What about the group of attorneys that are assigned to finding ways to make the city money. Not a job for a lawyer and, by the way, doesn’t the city have a finance and collections department?
Hmm, how about the fact that Mr. Aguirre assigned an investigator to read all of the emails of the attorneys in the office — paranoid, yes, but more importantly a waste of money. Let’s also look at the people he placed in positions of authority.
Karen Heumann had almost no legal experience is suddenly second in charge and advising the City Council. What??? In what world would this occur, other than the misguided, mismanaged office of Mr. Aguirre.
One concerned with quality legal advice and using assets wisely doesn’t pay inexperienced individuals executive salaries. Within the office, Mr. Aguirre consistently commended the neighborhood prosecutors, told them that they were invaluable. Who in their right mind would remove invaluable assets?
Councilmember Hueso, don’t back down. You are absolutely correct. Mr. Aguirre is trying to punish you and the rest of council by making the citizens believe that this was your choice rather than his.
David Miller is a former deputy city attorney.