Attorney General OKs Suit To Remove Fitzpatrick
In a press release today Costa Mesa Sanitary District Counsel Alan Burns announced that California Attorney General Kamala Harris has determined that the District may proceed with legal proceedings to remove Director James Fitzpatrick from the Board. (Photo courtesy of Daily Pilot)
The press release reads as follows:
The Attorney General has issued her opinion on the matter of the incompatibility determination regarding Jim Fitzpatrick serving on both the Costa Mesa Sanitary District (CMSD) Board and on the City of Costa Mesa Planning Commission (PC). The Attorney General has ruled favorably on CMSD’s application and has opined that there are substantial questions of fact and law regarding whether such incompatibility exists and that the two offices are incompatible. The Attorney General opined that the public interest would be served if leave to sue was granted and therefore authorized the District to bring an action to remove Fitzpatrick as a Director.
In the opinion, the Attorney General stated that the public interest would be served by such litigation. The Opinion also makes it clear that an office holder cannot pick and choose which incompatible position is kept but that by “leapfrogging” positions, the first incompatible office held is forfeited when the second one is accepted. This Opinion also makes it clear that a quo warranto action may be brought by a district to remove a member holding an incompatible office.
The Opinion has been published by the Attorney General and adds to the body of law on this subject. The Opinion is available to the public. The Board of Directors has scheduled a special meeting in closed session to discuss the Attorney General’s opinion regarding this matter. The special meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 20, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. located at District Headquarters, 628 W. 19th Street, Costa Mesa. The special meeting agenda can be downloaded on the District’s website at:
ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED BOTH POSITIONS SIMULTANEOUSLY?
SPECIAL MEETING TOMORROW
As indicated in the press release, the Sanitary District Board will hold a special meeting tomorrow, Thursday, December 20, 2012 to discuss this opinion by the Attorney General.