Tuesday, October 29, 2013
A.G. Harris Rejects Challenge to Council Appointment Given Former Glendale Mayor Quintero
By a MetNews Staff Writer
A Glendale ban on appointment of city council members to “any compensated city office or city employ until two years after leaving the office” does not preclude appointment to fill a vacancy in an otherwise elective office, Attorney General Kamala Harris has concluded.
In an opinion filed Friday and made public yesterday, the attorney general denied two city residents leave to bring a quo warranto action against Councilman Frank Quintero.
Quintero, the city’s immediate past mayor, was appointed to the council last April, just eight days after leaving office. The appointment was to fill a vacancy created by Rafi Manoukian’s election as city treasurer.
John Rando and Mariano Rodas, who sought leave to sue in quo warranto, contended Quintero’s appointment violated a 30-year-old charter amendment. The attorney general, however, in an opinion prepared by Deputy Attorney General Marc Nolan, said the amendment was never intended to bar ex-officials from returning to elective office via appointment.
Noting that Glendale did not have term limits when the amendment was adopted, and doesn’t have them now, the attorney general explained:
“The official ballot pamphlet from [the November 1982 municipal] election shows that the purpose of the amendment was to clarify (1) that sitting Council members could obtain or maintain outside employment while serving on the part-time Council, and (2) that the then-existing Charter provision only prohibited Council members from obtaining City employment. In addition, the proposed measure would extend the ban on obtaining other City employment for a period of two years after a Council member left office.”
The ballot argument in favor of the measure, Harris noted, said it was the intent of the measure to make certain that a council member could not “use his influence to obtain employment with the City until two years after leaving his council office.”
Because there is no legal basis for the action, Rando and Rodas may not sue in quo warranto, the attorney general said. Her opinion vindicates the position taken by City Attorney Mike Garcia at the time of the appointment.
The Glendale News-Press reported in April that Quintero claimed he was being targeted by Rando and Rodas—who have advocated allowing gun shows on city property—because of his support for a measure banning all gun sales from city property. That measure passed the council in March, and Kevin Brady, the attorney for Rando and Rodas, also represented the operator of the banned Glendale Gun Show, the newspaper said.
Copyright 2013, Metropolitan News Company