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Angeles County | Community News File / Pasadena

Council Votes to Replace Interim City Attorney

July 01, 1998

Acting City Atty. Michele Bagneris, who is a partner in a Los Angeles law firm, will be replaced by a full-time city employee by the end of the year.

The City Council voted 5-2 Monday to replace Bagneris with an in-house lawyer when the contract with Richards, Watson & Gershon expires in November.

Council members praised Bagneris' professionalism and said the change was a matter of policy and cost. City officials estimate that an in-house lawyer would save the city $133,000.

"She has done a wonderful job and brought some stability to the job," Mayor Chris Holden said.

The move was opposed by Council members Paul Little and William Crowfoot, who said Bagneris demonstrated the virtues of an independent attorney free from the city payroll.

The city attorney's job has been the center of controversy for several years. The City Council last February offered the job to Cheryl Ward, a top lieutenant in Los Angeles city attorney's office, only to withdraw the offer two months later. Ward has since sued for sexual and racial discrimination.

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