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A reader, who is an attorney, wrote me an e-mail about the revived ambiguity surrounding the 2005 vote (or non-vote) the City Council supposedly took to authorize City Attorney Mike Aguirre’s legacy lawsuit to roll back city employee pension benefits.

Remember yesterday’s reminder of what Council President Scott Peters argues: that Aguirre only received authorization to sue in his own name.

Here’s the attorney:

I too have always been confused on how that went down. I’m not sure what it means to authorize Aguirre to sue in his own name? He’s the City Attorney for crying out loud! Did they mean he could sue as an individual? In that case, he really didn’t need their permission.

What also always irritated was that if the Council felt like their position on this was misunderstood and they really did not want him to file the suit, why did they not revote and clarify their position at the next Council meeting or anytime thereafter??? Don’t get me wrong I absolutely believe the City Attorney can not file this type of lawsuit without Council approval. I just thought they left him an out with their ambiguity and never clarified as they most certainly could have.

This is a vitally important point. If the City Council never authorized Aguirre to sue to roll back what he claimed were illegal pension benefits, why in the world did they never do a single thing about it?

This may be why the issue is coming up now. One of the big arguments Peters and the gang looking to throw Aguirre out of office will undoubtedly use is the meme that Aguirre has been a reckless litigator.

If he has been a reckless litigator, his most reckless litigation is the pension lawsuit. But how can Peters (and his colleague Brian Maienschein) possibly argue that this was as reckless as they say if they authorized him to file the lawsuit?

The State Bar, by investigating this, is enabling Peters and Maienschein to float the idea that they never did authorize the litigation.

It should be remembered, of course, that they never did anything to stop it either.

But regardless, this can all be cleared up if the City Council would release the transcript of what really happened at that meeting. But they decided only to give the transcript to the State Bar.

How convenient.

SCOTT LEWIS

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