Search for tomorrow

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    “City attorney resigns,” the headline reads. These words don’t do justice to the grave injustice three members of our City Council have done to a dedicated employee, as well as to the citizens of Malibu! Christi’s contract called for (I believe) a 90-day notice period (during which she presumably would work), a six-month severance payment and payment for unused sick leave, or, about a year’s pay in total. Three members of our council saw fit to buy her silence (what other reason could there be for this overpayment?) by offering more than one year’s additional pay, over and above what was contractually required! What a waste of our tax money. All because she has the integrity to bring bad news to the council when the law isn’t on their side! And this is not just about the current criminal investigation: Hasse has been gunning for her since his days on the Planning Commission.

    In our history, we have had two lawyers on the City Council. I know that both of them have a great deal of respect for Christi. But more importantly, they are the only two members of the council, past or present, who have the expertise to critique an attorney in a meaningful way. Rather than jump off and hire someone for political reasons, or because of laymen’s perceptions of legal ability, perhaps the council would create a professional search committee, composed of attorneys and co-chaired by “the two Jeffs,” as they were sometimes referred to when they both sat on the council.

    When Jeff Kramer and Jeff Jennings may have disagreed on many issues, they are both respected attorneys and share a professional respect for one another. A committee co-chaired by the two of them using their legal expertise as well as the expertise of each of them gained in the workings of the city as council members would result in a far better search process than we will see if it is left in the hands of our current crop of politicians.

    Peter Tompkins