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With 100 Proposed Layoffs, City Attorneys Fire Back

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Standing room only at yesterday's budget meeting | Photo by Alex Thompson/Westside Bikeside

Standing room only at yesterday's budget meeting | Photo by Alex Thompson/Westside Bikeside
10 percent of the 1,000 city hall employees to be laid off in a current budget saving proposal are city attorneys. It's safe to say, like any employee with a threat to the job, City Attorney Carmen Trutanich is not thrilled. So at last night's meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee, Chief Deputy City Attorney Bill Carter read a poignant statement on how losing city attorneys means costly unintended consequences. "Our office does not create liability, other departments do," he said. A portion of his statement is below:
This office provides public safety and fiscal protection to the city. Our prosecutors file and handle criminal violations referred by the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies.

Our attorneys defend the city treasury by fighting in court against frivolous lawsuits-- including those cases where LAPD, LAFD or the Sanitation Department are accused of causing serious bodily injury or death--saving the city almost $80 million in the past six months.

As long as there are LAPD officers in the field or black and whites, or fire and sanitation trucks on the streets, the cases--both civil and criminal--will keep coming in our door. We cannot stop them.

And our attorneys are working to collect the over $200 million in debt owed to the city--collecting over $6 million in just the last six months. Prosecuting crimes and defending the city treasury are core missions of the city and our office and its attorneys do it in a cost effective manner.

Although we are a public safety office, no other public safety office has taken a hit that we have already suffered or that is not being proposed...

But it looks like no one is safe after all. City staff are now instructed to bring forward a plan that
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