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Potential Lawsuit Designed To Silence Critic

Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011

In an interesting follow up to the case study posted earlier, the Los Alamitos, California city council is considering filing a lawsuit against a council critic.

In a 3-2 vote, the council voted to research how to handle a potential ethics complaint against Brad Sheridan, who ran unsuccessfully for city council a year ago. Sheridan, an attorney, has been accused of making “inflammatory comments” about other candidates and individuals involved in city government.

The vote directs staff to look into filing a complaint with the California Bar Association, but city manager Jeff Stewart said, “While Mr. Sheridan’s comments might be considered inflammatory and included references to the possibility of a criminal inquiry by the District Attorney, the statements did not include threats that met the threshold of being reportable to the State Bar Association. Accordingly no further action was taken on the matter.”

Those who voted against the investigation said it was a waste of time and money, and said the action looked like “a personal vendetta” and reflected poorly on the mayor and council, but the others favored moving ahead.

Debate centers around a lawsuit filed against the city’s trash haulers during the campaign, an action that pitted candidates against one another in an attempt to change the council majority.

What would you do if you were on the council?

Tags: California, civility, council members

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