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Williams' Payout

May 04, 1997

As a resident and taxpayer of Los Angeles, I would like to know what possible potential legal liability the mayor and the members of the City Council who voted in favor of the payout to Chief Willie Williams (April 23) were seeking to avoid. It appears that the city simply exercised its lawful right to decline to renew the five-year employment contract. What legal right did Williams possess to compel the city to employ him as police chief after his five-year term expired?

As an attorney who on a regular basis represents rank and file public employees, may I now assume that whenever I threaten to file a lawsuit on behalf of a client who has been discharged from employment, the city will willingly offer an astronomical payout?

STEPHEN H. SILVER

Los Angeles

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