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HAWTHORNE : City Attorney to Have Hearing on His Firing

March 03, 1994|SCOTT SANDELL

Hawthorne City Atty. Michael Adamson has requested a public hearing on the City Council's plan to fire him later this month.

The council agreed to have the hearing March 14.

Adamson, who received notice from the council last week that it intends to dismiss him March 25, said he wants to dispute allegations by some council members that he acted improperly to restructure his employment contract last year.

"I have a professional reputation to maintain," Adamson said Monday. "If anybody accuses me of bad lawyering or misconduct, they're just plain wrong."

Although the council has declined to say exactly why it plans to fire Adamson, Lambert said Monday that the decision is linked to a disputed employment contract.

The contract, signed privately last year by then-Councilman Charles Bookhammer, allowed Adamson to receive cash for a percentage of unused sick leave and vacation time. City officials said they believe the entire council needed to approve the agreement in public for it to be valid. In addition, they said the provisions might violate state retirement system rules.

Last week the City Council invalidated the contract and a similar agreement with City Manager James H. Mitsch. No action is pending against Mitsch.

Adamson, a 17-year veteran of the city attorney's office, said he plans to take a vacation for the next few months and then seek work in private practice.

Being city attorney "is just too thankless a job," he said.

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