The Los Angeles City Council agreed Wednesday to hire an outside attorney to represent Sylvia Cunliffe in a lawsuit filed against the city by one of the General Services Department's real estate officers.
City Hall sources said the council, in closed session, voted to choose an outside lawyer to represent Cunliffe in the damage suit that Robert O'Neill has filed against the council and Cunliffe over disclosures about his past.
O'Neill has claimed that Cunliffe and others harmed him when they revealed that more than 20 years ago he had been convicted of a number of youthful misdemeanors and that he had suffered from alcoholism. Mayor Tom Bradley has cited the disclosures in his move to fire Cunliffe.
O'Neill has charged that Cunliffe disclosed the potentially embarrassing information in order to discredit his accounts of alleged Cunliffe wrongdoings as general manager.