Paso Robles hires Bell attorney firm
August 20, 2010
By KAREN VELIE
Paso Robles City Council voted last night to hire the same attorney firm that signed off on the lavish salaries of city of Bell officials and employees.
Councilmembers Nick Gilman, Ed Steinbeck and Mayor Duane Picanco voted unanimously to approve the firm of Best, Best & Krieger on Thursday night. The meeting was listed on the agenda as a regular meeting, even though the city had a regular council meeting on Tuesday.
Last night’s meeting was held at a different time, in a different place and on a different day than other regular council meetings. Only three members of the public attended the meeting.
“I wandered around and couldn’t find the meeting,” Mike Hove said. “I never even found it.”
On Aug. 13, current city attorney Iris Yang, who was working for the attorney firm of McDounogh, Holland and Allen, said her employer was “winding down” and asked the council to change to her new employer, Best, Best & Krieger.
Several resident of the city have voiced their concerns over the council’s decision.
“It does seem to me that the selection of Best, Best and Kreiger for Paso Robles, the law firm that allowed for decisions in Bell, is a very bad idea,” said John Borst in a letter to the council last night. “The selection of Best, Best & Krieger sends an implied message to our citizens that our city council wants to be represented by a law firm that will allow them to act contrary to the rights and interests of the people living in Paso Robles.”
Last week, California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr. subpoenaed records from Best, Best & Krieger as part of an investigation into the pay packages Bell city officials.