Peace through victory - the American way.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

San Diego's City Attorney/Wannabe Mayor

San Diego's City Attorney Michael Aguirre continues to believe he was elected to set policy for the city. His most recent misguided venture involves a lawsuit regarding the city's homeless policy. (Here.) He defends his attempt to settle the case on his own terms in a letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune's editor.
"Unfortunately, the problems of homelessness have not been adequately addressed by our municipality. Our police have unfairly been asked to manage the problem. We are using our county jail as a homeless shelter, which puts additional stress on our criminal justice system. The problem has gotten so out of hand that it has now become a question of cruel and unusual punishment. The U-T cites the creation of Petco Park as having transformed 'the East Village and much of the rest of downtown into a livable, family-friendly environment.' Excuse me, but have you seen or visited the streets of downtown San Diego lately? We already have de facto areas where the homeless congregate. Addressing complex issues such as these are never easy. I believe advancing real solutions that comply with the law are what San Diegans would like to see." (Here.)
Aguirre continues to be confused about the difference between a client and a lawyer. He forgets that the client is the city and the city's policy-makers are the City Council and Mayor not the city attorney. His job is to advise the client what to do but if the client chooses a different course of action, he has to abide by it.

This is not the first time this politically ambitious city attorney has apparently tried to implement his own policy preferences through a lawsuit settlement. One time before Aguirre, who represented the city, sided with the plaintiffs who filed suit attacking the city's condo conversion policy. (Here.) In that case, a third party sought to intervene in order to "prevent collusion between the Office of the City Attorney and the plaintiffs, which would harm the city and the condominium conversion industry." (Here.)

San Diego needs an appointed city attorney.


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