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The City Council voted Tuesday to extend its restrictions on City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s authority to sue without the council’s permission into the new fiscal year.

By a 5-2 vote, the council voted to require Aguirre to seek council approval for a lawsuit before the city auditor pays the legal fees associated with the case.

Council President Scott Peters and Council members Toni Atkins, Tony Young, Jim Madaffer and Ben Hueso supported the restriction. Council members Donna Frye and Kevin Faulconer voted against the proposal. Councilman Brian Maienschein was absent from the meeting.

Aguirre opposed the decision, saying he is permitted under the city charter to unilaterally act on behalf of the city in legal situations. The council has tried to frame the proposal as a budgetary issue, which the council members have control over as arbiters of the city’s purse strings.

The council also voted to seek guidance from the state Attorney General’s Office on the issue of Aguirre’s authority.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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