Last year the Costa Mesa City Council approved, by a 4-1 vote, a contract with the high-priced San Francisco law office of Jones Day. This is in addition to the contract with Jones & Mayer, the firm that employs City Attorney Tom Duarte.
- • The Jones Day contract allowed $495 per hour and contained no spending cap. Within days after the contract was approved, three Jones Day lawyers made donations to a Councilman’s campaign chest.
- • CM4RG publicly warned the City Council to include a spending cap in its contract with the Jones Day law firm. The 4-man Council majority ignored the warning, and the Jones Day lawyers have spent $787,663 of your tax dollars as of April 2012 on just one case in losing litigation – and they’re still spending!
- • Jones & Mayer have been paid $1,172,757 of your tax dollars as of April 2012, and will have run up even more bills by the end of the fiscal year.
Now the California State Auditor’s report on the City of Vernon (a charter city) has chastised Vernon for doing the very same thing that CM4RG warned against.
- The Orange County Register reports, “Auditors noted that [the law firm hired by Vernon] was given a contract for legal services in 2010 that contained no spending limit, and that between 2005 and 2011 his firm was paid more than $5 million.” See the Register article, “Former head of troubled Calif. city found dead,” Paragraphs 5-8, June 30, 2012: http://apne.ws/MMwJ4W .
- Do you want to approve a charter that would give even more power to these Councilmen, and future City Councils, to drain the public treasury? That would be the result of, among other things, the charter’s exemption from State requirements for competitive bidding on public works contracts.
- Would you rather pay top dollar for lawyers, lawsuits and well-connected contractors or keep cops on the beat and firefighters and paramedics ready to save your home and your life? If you want to keep big-time corruption out of Costa Mesa, you MUST get involved!