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Costa Mesa names acting city attorney The Costa Mesa...

January 24, 2003

Costa Mesa names acting city attorney

The Costa Mesa City Council named Tom Wood as acting city attorney

this week because of the prolonged absence of City Atty. Jerry

Scheer, who is out on medical leave.

Wood has been the assistant city attorney since March 1999. He

also served as assistant city attorney and city attorney for 12 years

ending in 1989.

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Scheer's medical leave stems from stress incurred when the City

Council voted in early September to place him and Wood on paid

administrative leave as a result of their general performance

evaluations. During that same session, council members also voted to

halt all business with an outside legal firm, audit the city

attorney's office and create a subcommittee to review the performance

of the city's top two attorneys.

A week later, council members unanimously voted to reinstate Wood.

On Oct. 4, the council narrowly reinstated Scheer by a 3-2 vote.

Scheer returned to his office on a part-time basis on Oct. 7,

despite claims from his attorney that he had developed serious

medical conditions as a result of stress and was on heavy medication.

On Oct. 17, the city's outside legal counsel gave Scheer the option

of resigning.

Scheer's attorney, Greg Petersen, was not available for comment

Thursday.

-- Deirdre Newman

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