I’m shocked but if I’m reading today’s Union-Tribune editorial correctly, it appears as though the paper’s editorial board and its always articulate ambassador, Bob Kittle, admitted to being the subjects of investigation of Kroll Inc., the firm that over a dizzying span of 18 months investigated wrongdoing at City Hall.

U-T Editorial Page Editor Bob Kittle talks with Kroll Inc. figurehead Arthur Levitt Photo: Dan Strumpf

I’m not sure how else to read the editorial. It was intended to body slam City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s recently filed lawsuits against Kroll’s special counsel from the firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Aguirre claims that Willkie Farr basically billed the city improperly.

I’ll let the U-T take it from here (emphasis added):

Aguirre’s suits — one 28 pages long, the other 32 — bluster with indignation but are short on hard facts to substantiate any wrongdoing. For example, he devotes nearly four pages in each suit to denouncing Willkie Farr & Gallagher for meeting with the Union-Tribune editorial board. In Aguirre’s twisted view, such activities were nothing short of billing fraud because they were outside the law firm’s “contractual mandates.” In truth, however, Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s engagement letter with the city was sweeping, stipulating that its scope of work “will also include other matters that, in the judgment of the Audit Committee, may require inquiry or investigation.”

Umm … So in other words, Willkie Farr billed the city for time spent meeting with the U-T editorial board. And that was OK because Willkie Farr’s engagement letter stipulated that its scope of work would include “matters, that, in the judgment of the Audit Committee, may require inquiry or investigation.”

So it was appropriate for Willkie Farr to meet with the editorial board because the U-T deserved inquiry or investigation during a look into the city’s wrongdoing.

Interesting, I didn’t find the section in the report that detailed the fruits of this investigation.


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