Royce Jones, an attorney who’s often by SEDC President Carolyn Y. Smith’s side, isn’t sure if his services are still required at SEDC since the agency’s budget was slashed last week.

“Right now I don’t have any comment because I just don’t know what’s going on,” Jones just told me. “We’re trying to figure things out.”

Mayor Jerry Sanders cut SEDC’s budget by two-thirds last week while his staff reviews the agency’s finances and auditors complete an SEDC audit that has been pending for more than a year. All funding for the agency has been frozen except money to pay for employees’ base salaries. That means, in theory, there’s no money approved to pay for the services of lawyers like Jones.

Jones sits in on many press interviews with Smith and attends the agency’s board meetings. He’s an attorney with Los Angeles firm Kane, Ballmer & Berkman.

The agency also pays for a corporate counsel, San Diego attorney Regina Petty of Wilson Petty Kosmo & Turner LLP.

Jones told me he’s not sure if he’s expected at SEDC’s board meeting on Wednesday.

“I have no idea. I don’t know if I am or if I’m not. I haven’t been given a direction,” he said.

WILL CARLESS

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