By Daniel Ritz

Dana Point City Council members Debra Lewis and Paul Wyatt’s recommendation to issue Requests for Proposals (RFP) from licensed California lawyers and law firms to act as the City Attorney were denied by a 3-2 vote during the Feb. 20 City Council meeting.

Lewis said the call for RFP’s is “prudent and fiscally responsible,” noting that RFP’s had not been sought for the position since the law firm Rutan & Tucker, LLP was brought on in 2002.

Council member Paul Wyatt supported Lewis, clarifying that, “the Council is not personally criticizing the performance or budget usage of the City Attorney. For that, we as the Council must take responsibility. He listens to us.”

Council member Joe Mueller disagreed, stating that he thought a call for RFP’s showed a lack of support for City Attorney Patrick Munoz’s “exemplary track record.”

“Sending out for RFP’s is putting the cart before the horse,” said Mayor Richard Viczorek. He continued, stating clearer guidelines were needed to judge Munoz’s performance.

At the City Council meeting on Feb. 6, Mayor Viczorek made what many considered a controversial decision to call discussion of the City Attorney into closed session in-lieu of possible Brown Act violations. Mayor Viczorek stated at the meeting on Feb. 20 that he stood behind this decision, and still felt it should as the City Attorney position was, in his interpretation, a City employee position. City Attorney Patrick Munoz voluntarily opened the discussion, and copies of his supplied performance review are available online at www.danapoint.org.

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comments (2)

  • “Council member Joe Mueller disagreed, stating that he thought a call for RFP’s showed a lack of support for City Attorney Patrick Munoz’s ‘exemplary track record.’.”
    Great governing there (sarc), Forget about fiscal responsibility, we need to make sure no one’s feeling are hurt. 🙄

  • If you hear only half of the story, and it comes from Capo Cares, then you are unaware how bad Lewis/Wyatt looked when they tried to make arguments in support of getting a new law firm or having staff attorneys. Fact: Capo Cares and Save DP (Lewis/Wyatt, Nelson and Hill)), started going after the city approved law firm straight from their start at the council last year (so it is personal). That’s even before the FRC was started (the whole FRC issue is a scam to score political points and get more funds into Capo). Fact: Our attorney was rated 25th best city attorney, out of over 300, in the state of California, 25th! Fact: the Capo Cares/Save DP cherry picked false and misleading numbers when presenting their talking points too the Capo Cares army (falsely claiming certain cities have lower cost than ours). Fact: Capo Cares and Save DP, have lied throughout the last year about our current financial position (read folks, read). Fact: Having staff as attorney would cost more than our current contract, plus would add long term pension liabilities to our balance sheet (folks these don’t go away). Fact: Our current city attorney is 17 for 19 in major cases, that’s right almost a 90% success rate. Fact: The city attorney is considered a public employee, so requiring the contract to be sent to RFP would be the equivalent to sending the city manager contract to RFP every few years? Is that logical? Plus, since any person can see what we pay the firm, it would be undercut easily, but what would we get in return? A cheap law firm. I would rather go with a guy who scores 90% and wins!

    If you would have listened to all of the discussion at the council meeting you would have learned. So stop the false talking reports from Capo Cares and start listening to facts. Capo Cares is ruining this city and their guerrilla tactics need to be stopped, Again, they pay 10% of the revenue yet get back more than another other district, yet they cry and complain about everything, and most importantly, they lie and use half truths.

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