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NEWS
February 11, 2004
Deirdre Newman Despite an independent review recommending that the city keep its legal work in-house, city leaders agreed Monday to evaluate whether they would be better off employing outside legal counsel. The independent review had suggested keeping the work in City Hall because of the type and quantity of the workload and the level of legal complexity. But Mayor Gary Monahan initiated the idea of getting work proposals from outside firms as well as a proposal from the city attorney's office so the council could compare.
NEWS
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. 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.
NEWS
October 29, 2003
Deirdre Newman City leaders settled a lawsuit with City Atty. Jerry Scheer on Monday that will pay the beleaguered attorney $750,000 and prompt his retirement. Scheer filed the lawsuit against the city, four present and former council members and a deputy city attorney in September. The suit contained 16 complaints for damages including violation of free speech and due process; unlawful harassment based on age and disability and violation of the Brown Act open meeting law. "It's a lot of money," said Mayor Gary Monahan.
NEWS
April 16, 2003
Deirdre Newman Acknowledging that he was guilty of an oversight of the city's conflict of interest code, Councilman Allan Mansoor gave Planning Commissioner Joel Faris a check for $100 on Tuesday. Mansoor said he intended the exchange of money to retroactively reduce Faris' fall campaign contribution from $300 to $200 so it falls below the threshold that constitutes a conflict of interest. On Monday, Acting City Atty. Tom Wood said his office couldn't rule on past decisions that may have involved a conflict of interest, but laid out guidelines that showed that a similar situation would be construed as a conflict in the future.
NEWS
August 5, 2003
Deirdre Newman The City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, on Monday continued the scheduled rehearing on a condominium project at 1901 Newport because of uncertainty about a lawsuit filed by Rutter Development. The council also opted not to take public comment because of the emotions of the people of the room. "It's not prudent for the city to take action because emotions are running very high because of the lawsuit," Councilwoman Libby Cowan said.
NEWS
September 4, 2003
Deirdre Newman The City Council approved an independent review of the structure of the city attorney's office Tuesday. The review was initiated by Mayor Gary Monahan, who said he wanted to get a better sense of the operations of the city attorney's office. "I don't know what's going on in that office and have never been a big proponent of going outside, but I want to get an independent recommendation to see if it's staffed properly and if it's budgeted properly," Monahan said.
NEWS
October 26, 1999
Elise Gee COSTA MESA -- The Planning Commission on Monday delayed a vote on whether to put a temporary halt to West Side development. The delay will give three commissioners more time to decide whether they have conflicts of interest because they own homes there. Also, Commissioner Katie Wilson was absent and the commissioners wanted to make the decision with everyone present. The commission had been working for a month on a plan to stop certain types of development on the West Side until the City Council approved a revitalization plan for the area west of Harbor Boulevard and south of Wilson Street.
NEWS
November 2, 2002
Lolita Harper Council candidate and Planning Commissioner Bill Perkins derives half his family income from an apartment owner who potentially stands to lose a lot of money if a tougher rental housing program is enacted by the city. Though not an apparent conflict, according to a city attorney, the tie is being questioned by one of Perkins' council opponents. Amber Perkins, Perkins' wife, works as an administrative assistant for the owner of Pine Creek Village apartments -- a 340-unit complex on Adams Avenue.
NEWS
July 14, 2004
Deirdre Newman A committee charged with finding an outside law firm to be considered as an alternative to the city attorney's office is trying to fast-track its recommendation so the City Council can decide before the November election. The council voted in February to invite proposals from outside legal firms to have a basis of comparison when deciding on keeping counsel in house or farming it out. Mayor Gary Monahan, a member of the committee, said he believes the council would like to make a decision on whether to stay with the current city attorney's office or use an outside firm before the election in November.
NEWS
August 13, 2003
Paul Clinton As an olive branch to organizers of the second Orange County Dyke March, city leaders have backed away from the bulk of a 21-point rule book imposed on organizers of the Saturday parade. After a series of meetings with attorneys from the group on Friday, city officials elected to drop restrictions on the use of the motorcycles and a requirement that riders submit copies of their driver's licenses, said Tom Wood, the acting city attorney.
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NEWS
July 14, 2004
Deirdre Newman A committee charged with finding an outside law firm to be considered as an alternative to the city attorney's office is trying to fast-track its recommendation so the City Council can decide before the November election. The council voted in February to invite proposals from outside legal firms to have a basis of comparison when deciding on keeping counsel in house or farming it out. Mayor Gary Monahan, a member of the committee, said he believes the council would like to make a decision on whether to stay with the current city attorney's office or use an outside firm before the election in November.
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NEWS
February 11, 2004
Deirdre Newman Despite an independent review recommending that the city keep its legal work in-house, city leaders agreed Monday to evaluate whether they would be better off employing outside legal counsel. The independent review had suggested keeping the work in City Hall because of the type and quantity of the workload and the level of legal complexity. But Mayor Gary Monahan initiated the idea of getting work proposals from outside firms as well as a proposal from the city attorney's office so the council could compare.
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
October 29, 2003
Deirdre Newman City leaders settled a lawsuit with City Atty. Jerry Scheer on Monday that will pay the beleaguered attorney $750,000 and prompt his retirement. Scheer filed the lawsuit against the city, four present and former council members and a deputy city attorney in September. The suit contained 16 complaints for damages including violation of free speech and due process; unlawful harassment based on age and disability and violation of the Brown Act open meeting law. "It's a lot of money," said Mayor Gary Monahan.
NEWS
September 4, 2003
Deirdre Newman The City Council approved an independent review of the structure of the city attorney's office Tuesday. The review was initiated by Mayor Gary Monahan, who said he wanted to get a better sense of the operations of the city attorney's office. "I don't know what's going on in that office and have never been a big proponent of going outside, but I want to get an independent recommendation to see if it's staffed properly and if it's budgeted properly," Monahan said.
NEWS
August 13, 2003
Paul Clinton As an olive branch to organizers of the second Orange County Dyke March, city leaders have backed away from the bulk of a 21-point rule book imposed on organizers of the Saturday parade. After a series of meetings with attorneys from the group on Friday, city officials elected to drop restrictions on the use of the motorcycles and a requirement that riders submit copies of their driver's licenses, said Tom Wood, the acting city attorney.
NEWS
August 5, 2003
Deirdre Newman The City Council, acting as the Redevelopment Agency, on Monday continued the scheduled rehearing on a condominium project at 1901 Newport because of uncertainty about a lawsuit filed by Rutter Development. The council also opted not to take public comment because of the emotions of the people of the room. "It's not prudent for the city to take action because emotions are running very high because of the lawsuit," Councilwoman Libby Cowan said.
NEWS
April 16, 2003
Deirdre Newman Acknowledging that he was guilty of an oversight of the city's conflict of interest code, Councilman Allan Mansoor gave Planning Commissioner Joel Faris a check for $100 on Tuesday. Mansoor said he intended the exchange of money to retroactively reduce Faris' fall campaign contribution from $300 to $200 so it falls below the threshold that constitutes a conflict of interest. On Monday, Acting City Atty. Tom Wood said his office couldn't rule on past decisions that may have involved a conflict of interest, but laid out guidelines that showed that a similar situation would be construed as a conflict in the future.
NEWS
April 15, 2003
Deirdre Newman Without deciding whether Councilman Allan Mansoor violated the city's conflict of interest code, the acting city attorney said Monday that similar actions would constitute a conflict in the future. One tenet of the city's conflict of interest law characterizes as a conflict any campaign contribution of $250 or more during the year before a council decision involving the contributor. Mansoor appointed Joel Faris as his planning commissioner on Feb. 18, after Faris had contributed more than $250 to Mansoor's 2002 election campaign.
NEWS
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. 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.
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