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Official Business

Former City Attorney to Probe Keeley's Role in Dispute

April 25, 1996

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday agreed to let Mayor Richard Riordan bring in former City Atty. Burt Pines to help investigate a top aide's controversial role in a contract dispute that evolved into a suit against the city.

Pines, now in private practice, will donate his time in investigating aide Michael Keeley's release of city legal strategy documents to a private attorney on the opposing side. Keeley's action, discovered last week by the city attorney's office, touched off a firestorm when City Atty. James Hahn disclosed the incident and demanded Keeley's firing.

Keeley, the mayor's chief operating officer charged with carrying out much of the Riordan agenda, apologized Monday for "poor judgment" but insisted he had authority to decide what to do with the documents and had the city's best interest at heart. But the City Council voted 10-3 that it had no confidence in Keeley.

The council has launched its own investigation of the incident.

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