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NEWS
By Hannah Fry | November 14, 2013
Coast Community College District trustees are taking steps to rein in the district's legal expenditures. Trustees will vote on whether to amend the board's rules for accessing the district's legal counsel during their Nov. 20 meeting, according to the board agenda. The board of trustees formed a committee in September to discuss ways the district could reduce legal costs, which Trustee David Grant called "just too high. " The district pays about $360,000 annually in legal fees, Grant said.
NEWS
December 17, 2002
ON THE AGENDA Here are some items to be considered tonight by the Newport Beach City Council. ANNEXATIONS The Santa Ana Country Club and residents of West Santa Ana Heights have been lobbying to become part of Newport Beach despite the county's decision that they should become part of Costa Mesa. Their once unlikely hopes moved a step closer to reality this fall when the Orange County Local Agency Formation Commission decided to hear their pleas and reconsider whether they should be part of Newport Beach or Costa Mesa.
NEWS
By Robert J. Ooten | September 27, 2012
Four Costa Mesa Sanitary District board members hired a law firm to petition the California attorney general for a ruling on whether the offices of Sanitary District director and city planning commissioner offices are incompatible. The City Council decided to install Director Jim Fitzpatrick as a planning commissioner after he had been elected to the Sanitary District. The city attorney provided the council with a legal input and opinion. The district legal counsel had provided the district board members with a legal opinion that the offices were likely incompatible.
NEWS
December 18, 2003
Deirdre Newman The city's legal costs are more in line with other cities' than an independent review showed, according to a report by the acting city attorney. The City Council hired a consultant firm to do the independent cost/benefit analysis of the city attorney's office and identify ways to make it more efficient after the departure of former City Atty. Jerry Scheer. The review, which the council received at a study session on Dec. 8, and acting City Atty.
NEWS
November 28, 2006
Here are some items the council will consider tonight.   ENVIRONMENTAL LAWSUITS City Atty. Robin Clauson is recommending that the council indemnify the city from legal challenges based on the California Environmental Quality Act. When developers seek to build projects in Newport, the city often oversees the required environmental review and thus could be named in a suit if the review or the council's resulting decision on the...
NEWS
By Brianna Bailey | October 16, 2009
Newport Beach has spent more than $1.5 million in legal fees in relation to drug and alcohol rehabilitation homes since 2007, and costs are expected to continue to grow, according to City Atty. David Hunt. “Conflict is expensive,” he said. The city is involved in several lawsuits and at least two federal investigations, all stemming from an ordinance it passed in January 2008 that attempts to curb a growing number of sober living homes in the city. The U.S. Department of Justice and the Department of Housing and Urban developments are investigating Newport Beach after receiving at least seven federal complaints from drug and alcohol recovery homes.
NEWS
By Eric Bever | November 2, 2012
In a recent letter to the editor, Sandy Genis claims to set the facts straight regarding Costa Mesa's Banning Ranch traffic mitigation agreement. Upon reading her diatribe, it was clear that her claims still fell far short of the facts. I was completely astounded by Ms. Genis' complete lack of understanding regarding this subject. First, no agreement was ever finalized. Second, she stated that the $4.4 million, which our very competent development services director negotiated on the city's behalf, "fell far short of the necessary $8 million to $10 million.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | July 3, 2012
The city of Costa Mesa spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees in its failed attempt to place a charter initiative on the June ballot, records show. Jones Day, the law firm retained by the City Council, invoiced the city for $50,021 through March 31 at a rate of $495 an hour. That may not be the total spent on the effort, however. The city may receive other invoices from the firm on charter litigation in the future, said Assistant Finance Director Colleen O'Donoghue.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | July 26, 2012
Costa Mesa spent 350% more on lawyers in fiscal 2011-12 than it did the year before, records show. The city, however, remained under what it had budgeted for litigation costs, according to preliminary numbers reviewed this week. Costa Mesa spent about $1.6 million last fiscal year on litigation — work directly related to legal cases, such as lawsuits — which is under the roughly $2 million the city had set aside for such purposes. The amount is a three-fold increase from its average over the previous five years.
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NEWS
By Hannah Fry | November 14, 2013
Coast Community College District trustees are taking steps to rein in the district's legal expenditures. Trustees will vote on whether to amend the board's rules for accessing the district's legal counsel during their Nov. 20 meeting, according to the board agenda. The board of trustees formed a committee in September to discuss ways the district could reduce legal costs, which Trustee David Grant called "just too high. " The district pays about $360,000 annually in legal fees, Grant said.
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NEWS
By Bradley Zint | April 25, 2013
Following the state attorney general's denial again last month to represent the Orange County Fairgrounds, discussions continued Thursday morning regarding the organization's pending legal bills. Since early 2010, the state-owned fairgrounds has paid about $862,000 to Manatt, Phelps and Phillips - a Los Angeles firm with an office in Costa Mesa - since the December 2009 loss of representation by the attorney general, who represents most state agencies. In a March 27 letter, Senior Assistant Attorney General Robert W. Byrne wrote to O.C. Fair & Event Center officials that the office cannot provide counsel to the fairgrounds until the conclusion of the Orange County district attorney's potential investigation into the failed 2010 attempt to sell the Costa Mesa property to private investors.
NEWS
By Eric Bever | November 2, 2012
In a recent letter to the editor, Sandy Genis claims to set the facts straight regarding Costa Mesa's Banning Ranch traffic mitigation agreement. Upon reading her diatribe, it was clear that her claims still fell far short of the facts. I was completely astounded by Ms. Genis' complete lack of understanding regarding this subject. First, no agreement was ever finalized. Second, she stated that the $4.4 million, which our very competent development services director negotiated on the city's behalf, "fell far short of the necessary $8 million to $10 million.
NEWS
By Robert J. Ooten | September 27, 2012
Four Costa Mesa Sanitary District board members hired a law firm to petition the California attorney general for a ruling on whether the offices of Sanitary District director and city planning commissioner offices are incompatible. The City Council decided to install Director Jim Fitzpatrick as a planning commissioner after he had been elected to the Sanitary District. The city attorney provided the council with a legal input and opinion. The district legal counsel had provided the district board members with a legal opinion that the offices were likely incompatible.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | July 26, 2012
Costa Mesa spent 350% more on lawyers in fiscal 2011-12 than it did the year before, records show. The city, however, remained under what it had budgeted for litigation costs, according to preliminary numbers reviewed this week. Costa Mesa spent about $1.6 million last fiscal year on litigation — work directly related to legal cases, such as lawsuits — which is under the roughly $2 million the city had set aside for such purposes. The amount is a three-fold increase from its average over the previous five years.
NEWS
By Lauren Williams | July 3, 2012
The city of Costa Mesa spent tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees in its failed attempt to place a charter initiative on the June ballot, records show. Jones Day, the law firm retained by the City Council, invoiced the city for $50,021 through March 31 at a rate of $495 an hour. That may not be the total spent on the effort, however. The city may receive other invoices from the firm on charter litigation in the future, said Assistant Finance Director Colleen O'Donoghue.
NEWS
By Britney Barnes | March 23, 2012
The Costa Mesa Sanitary District board will use taxpayer money instead of its directors' stipends in its attempt to oust a director. Board President Robert Ooten asked his fellow directors Thursday to split the legal costs in the effort to remove Director Jim Fitzpatrick from his elected position, but his peers opted to keep their full stipends. Ooten, however, said he will pay one-fifth of the costs from his $221-a-meeting stipend to move the board majority's case against Fitzpatrick forward.
NEWS
By Joseph Serna | February 23, 2012
The Orange County Fair Board on Thursday agreed to ask the state attorney general's office to return as its legal counsel. The state's highest-ranking law enforcement arm backed away from the O.C. Fair & Events Center two years ago because of possible conflicts of interest during the proposed fairgrounds sale. The move could save the state-controlled board — the 32nd District Agricultural Assn. — hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal bills in the years to come. The board was slated to sign on for a third year with law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips on Thursday before one of the board's newest members, Stan Tkaczyk of Newport Beach, objected to it. The firm's legal costs last year amounted to more than $325,000, with about 40% of that going toward lease issues with Tel Phil Enterprises, operator of the weekend swap meet.
NEWS
By Al Morelli | February 2, 2012
A pilot would never fly a passenger plane from John Wayne Airport to Sacramento without a flight plan that explains how to get there. Yet all too often, the city government people develop their annual budgets without clear plans of where the Costa Mesa citizens at large want them to go. Thus, to best achieve results, the city of Costa Mesa needs to develop a reliable budget and revenue forecast. A budget doesn't have to be a constrained plan that deprives what the citizens want and need.
NEWS
By Jennifer Muir | September 8, 2011
The hypocrisy that has become the hallmark of the Costa Mesa City Council majority was reinforced repeatedly at Tuesday's council meeting. While continuing to cry poor about the city's financial condition, the majority voted to authorize unlimited spending for two high-priced law firms in furtherance of its failed outsourcing scheme. Jones Day, the third firm retained to defend the city against a lawsuit filed by city employees, will charge $495 per hour while HansonBridgett from San Francisco will charge $295 to $325 per hour to advise the city's outsourcing agenda.
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