It appears Attorney General Jerry Brown decided months ago that he didn’t want to intervene in the debate over the role of the city attorney.

You might remember that Councilman Jim Madaffer told the council last summer that he was going to ask Brown’s office to weigh in on the city attorney’s powers. A majority of council members believes City Attorney Mike Aguirre should seek their authorization for filing lawsuits, but Aguirre says the city’s bylaws allow him the freedom to pursue litigation on his own.

Yesterday, Aguirre released memos from Brown and Assemblyman George Plescia, who filed the request for Madaffer, showing that “the Attorney General declines opinion requests calling for the interpretation of local charters, ordinances, resolutions, regulations or rules.” Those memos were sent to Madaffer as early as Sept. 27.

The attorney general opinion had been one of a number of routes Aguirre opponents had hoped to take to resolve the dispute over the city attorney’s powers.


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