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Blame to Go Around for Bankrupting City Attorney 

Your article "Council vs. Mayor Bankrupts City Attorney" (Street Talk, Nov. 14) isn't exactly startling news. In fact, in your Aug. 29 edition you reported on the same developing problem, "Wilder vs. Council Costs City $304,635.62." The money spent on outside counsel fees had to come from somewhere.

There is more than enough blame to go around on this one.

The mayor will say, no doubt, that he never filed a lawsuit, so his hands are clean. Wrong. All he did was repeatedly get his chief of staff to cook up off-the-wall -- not to mention unauthorized — legal opinions to say that the mayor could do anything he wanted to do.

Under the city charter, there is one city attorney. And it is not Sandra Robinson. Or Richard Cullen. Or whoever else might do the mayor's bidding.

I don't see that the City Council is free and clear of all this either. If you know that the mayor is hellbent on breaking every rule to expand his power, wouldn't you eventually have an obligation to act instead of just respond?

By doing nothing except adopting ordinances and resolutions, City Council added fuel to the fire. The mayor simply dismisses those as meaningless pieces of paper. At the heart of it, he does not respect the system under which we are presently operating.

I would say that is his problem. But it is all of ours for the time being.

Mike Sarahan
Richmond




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