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No Shortage of Views on Myers and the Homeless

February 09, 1992

Robert Myers has lied to the City Council and the people of Santa Monica. In order to advance his view that a tough anti-camping ordinance should not be adopted, he denounced the West Hollywood anti-camping ordinance as unconstitutional. Further, in his report to the City Council he stated, "The provisions of the West Hollywood regulation have not yet been constitutionally tested in any court proceeding."

In fact, two appellate cases, United States v. Thomas (1988) and United States v. Musser (1989) and the 1984 Supreme Court decision in Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence all discuss the same provisions contained in the West Hollywood ordinance. In addition, all three cases state that these provisions are constitutional. Myers can argue that those cases are distinguishable, but he cannot argue that they do not exist.

Under the Rules of Professional Conduct, Myers may express his opinion on whether or not it is right to enact a tough anti-camping ordinance. However, to use deception by omission and affirmative misrepresentation to advance his agenda, when he is under a legal and ethical duty to be forthright, is another matter. All attorneys are bound to give their clients, in this case the city of Santa Monica, candid and thorough legal advice so that the client can make an informed decision.

Accordingly, as an alumnus of Loyola Law School, I was greatly embarrassed by Prof. Karl Manheim's rambling defense of Myers (Letters, Feb. 2). In light of the above, calling Myers' legal advice "sound" is ridiculous. However, since Manheim and Myers are friends and former colleagues at Loyola, his uninformed and gratuitous comments are at least explainable.

I did agree with Manheim, however, when he said that outside counsel to be hired by the City Council "will be paid lots of money" to draft an anti-camping ordinance. Had Myers done his job and adequately informed the City Council, this money to be spent on outside counsel could have been spent on real assistance to the homeless.

SCOTT A. MEEHAN

Santa Monica

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