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Orange County Digest

Santa Ana : City Keeps Attorney on Adult Theater Case

October 26, 1985|Andy Rose

Attorney James Clancy, who represents the city in its case against the Mitchell Bros. adult movie theater, has signed a new $1-a-year contract after attorneys for the X-rated theater chain made a motion in Santa Ana Superior Court to have him disqualified from the case.

The state Supreme Court recently ruled that Clancy, who has been paid $196,000 by Santa Ana since being hired in 1979, could not represent the City of Corona in its attempt to close adult bookstores there because he had a financial interest in the case. Clancy's contract with Santa Ana paid him $25 an hour--as well as his contract with Corona--and included a clause doubling that fee if the city won the case.

Clancy, a Sun Valley attorney who specializes in anti-pornography litigation, said he feels confident that the Superior Court will rule in his favor and noted that Corona is appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. "I have tremendous faith in the outcome of this work," he said.

Mitchell attorney Tom Steele said he interprets the Supreme Court ruling to mean that no contracted attorney should be involved in such a case. The proper representative would be "somebody who doesn't have a financial stake in the case," he said, suggesting City Atty. Edward Cooper.

Cooper confirmed that Clancy's contract had been amended and said the only way Clancy would be paid would be by a special vote of the City Council. "We have no more contingencies," he said, adding that the council recently authorized a $25,000 payment.

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