"Basically, everybody knows that Isaac has a short fuse," said Sutton, Richard's lawyer. "And Rick lights it."
Sutton maintains that Richard offends a tradition of gentility in Pasadena politics. By censuring him--and depriving him of some of the privileges of being a council member, such as access to free tickets to the Rose Bowl--his fellow council members are violating his freedom of speech, the lawyer contends.
"They're trying to enforce a Pasadena standard of civility," Sutton said. "But you can't have government enforcing civility or politeness in political debate. It's contrary to American traditions."
Sutton said he is preparing a legal paper alleging that the action of the council in depriving Richard of council perquisites is unconstitutional.