Why Politics Shouldn’t Play a Role in LA’s City Lawyer Race

To the editors: It’s a shame The Times fell into the trap of analyzing the Los Angeles city attorney candidates using irrelevant attributes, even if they’re the ones being stressed by the candidates themselves.

After practicing municipal law for over 40 years and serving as a city attorney for a number of Southern California towns, I can tell you that the key criteria for the job are these: the ability to work with councilors and staff regardless of of their political or personal idiosyncrasies; knowledge of and willingness to advise those persons on the legal and constitutional limits to their proposed actions; and the ability to organize workflow and oversee staff in the city attorney’s own office.

Political affiliation, an impoverished childhood, success in winning lawsuits or prosecuting crimes, or even stupid remarks (if made decades ago) say nothing about whether the candidate meets any of these criteria.

Stephanie Scher, Los Angeles

To the editors: Who at The Times determined the “two top candidates” for city attorney?

Both are “former” Republicans who now conveniently identify as Democrats. One ran in vain for the office in Virginia and Vermont; the other hosted a right-leaning talk show on local AM radio. Each seems to follow Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s campaign playbook to pretend you’re not.

The top candidates must be the ones with consistent political views and a commitment to public service.

Eric CarlsonLos Angeles

Leave a Comment