Interim City Attorney’s
It is an honor to serve as your Interim City Attorney. I am pleased to present the City
Attorney’s Annual Report for fiscal year 2011-2012. This report is published each year to
show the citizens of our community how public resources are spent on legal services in the
City of Sacramento.
In this report, you will find a review of our current resources, and a comparison of changes in
use of and demand for these resources over time.
Mission Statement: The city continues to face significant challenges in returning to a long-term structurally
The mission of the balanced General Fund budget. As part of this process, the City Attorney’s Office has been
Sacramento City challenged to reduce its budget further each year. Since our budget is primarily salary, this
typically results in a reduction in staffing. In fiscal year 2011-2012, this challenge was
Attorney’s Office is to
addressed through mandatory furloughs, elimination of two FTE’s, and a $100k reduction to
provide the highest quality the litigation fund. We continue to make difficult decisions regarding the continued operation
legal services to the City of of non-mandatory services.
The dedicated staff of the City Attorney’s Office has worked hard to provide timely and
competent legal advice and is committed to providing our client, the City of Sacramento, with
quality legal services.
City Attorney’s Clients and Roles:
The Office of the City Attorney provides legal counsel to
the Mayor and City Council. In addition, the office is
legal counsel to those persons—such as the City
Manager, City Treasurer, City Clerk, City Auditor, and
Department Heads—empowered by the City Council, the
City Charter, or state law, to act on the city’s behalf. The
City Attorney’s Office does not represent citizens in
(From left to right)
The City Attorney’s Office also serves as the City Gustavo L. Martinez, Matthew D. Ruyak, Angela
Kolak, Brett M. Witter, Gerald C. Hicks, Sandra
Prosecutor for misdemeanor and infraction violations of
G. Talbott, Kathy Montgomery
the city code. Violations of the California Penal Code
and other state laws remain the prosecutorial
responsibility of the District Attorney.
New Assignments/Cases by Clients
FY 2009- FY 2010- FY 2011-
2010 2011 2012
City Attorney's Office 26 38 24
City Auditor 8 25 30
City Clerk 49 232 136
City Manager 89 106 105
City Treasurer 46 73 85
Community Development 713 837 757
Conv., Culture & Leisure 343 263 184
Development Services 104 10 0
Economic Development 182 254 128
Finance 137 316 251
Fire 118 217 191
General Services 773 727 680
Human Resources 221 388 347
Information Technology 121 88 77
Library Authority 443 427 316
Mayor and Council 105 146 75
Outside Agency Referral 7 18 115
Parks and Recreation 493 654 313
Police 1284 1596 1883
Public Works 578 984 969
Utilities 956 954 815
Boards & Commissions, Other Jurisdiction
Agency 54 114 62
TOTALS 6850 8467 7543
The above chart reﬂects the City's new organiza onal structure.
Budget Fiscal Year 2011‐2012 Budget Funding Sources
The operating budget in fiscal year 2011-2012 was Interdepartmental Service
$6,440,585, of which $3,810,142 was derived from the Risk Management Fund
city’s general fund. Water Fund
General Revenue collected offsets the General Fund
Approximately 94% of the City Attorney’s Office
annual budget is for personnel-related costs.
In 2011-2012, the City Attorney’s Office achieved a City Attorney FTEs
budget reduction of $588,921 through staffing reduc- Attorneys Support Staff Totals
tions, mandatory furloughs, and permanent reductions
to the litigation fund. 58
49 48 46
30 28 28
25 27 27 27
22 21 19
2007/2008 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 2011/2012
Additional net savings of $450,876 were recognized at year end and returned to the general fund. Savings
were achieved through the following proactive measures:
Conscious effort toward fiscal conservatism
Year End Savings
Organizational reallocation of resources that re-
duced support staff in the offices’ Neighborhood FY 07-08 $410,840
Safety and Nuisance Abatement section FY 08-09 $436,595
Acquiring new services and supplies only when FY 09-10 $554,400
crucial FY 10-11 $534,082
FY 11-12 $450,876
Better utilization of technology
Aggressively negotiating discounts for services and supplies with existing vendors
Litigation Section attorneys represent the city, the city council, and city staff in all
Litigation litigated matters brought by or against the city. In fiscal year 2011-2012, the City
Attorney’s Office remained committed to New Li ga on Ma ers
maintaining a strong litigation unit capa- FY FY FY
ble of practicing in all areas of the law 2009‐ 2010‐ 2011‐
with sustained success. As in years past, 2010 2011 2012
the litigation section continued to assume Bankruptcy 0 1 1
litigation responsibility for cases involving Civil Rights 7 6 23
tort, civil rights, employment, labor, envi- Contract 9 7 3
ronmental, subrogation, collections, con- Employment 2 1 1
tract, and strictly municipal issues, such Labor 21 28 32
as writs under the Public Records Act. As Property 3 13 6
is typically the case, no litigation matters Li ga on 7 19 20
were sent to outside counsel in fiscal year Review
Attorneys 2011-2012 except those handled at the Subpoena 14 14 2
Brett M. Witter, Supervising DCA
expense of another party. Subroga on ‐ 6 15 15
Sari Myers-Dierking Collec on
Michael Fry Some benefits of a strong in-house litiga- Tax 1 1 0
Chance Trimm tion unit include the following: TRO/ 6 2 4
A budget savings over the cost of pay- Injunc on
Paralegals ing outside attorneys.
Tort/Appeal 35 42 45
Lynette Fuson Writ 5 8 7
In fiscal year 2011-2012, the city paid TOTALS 116 157 159
Legal Secretaries nothing in 63% of the closed cases in
Jamie Gifford, Supervising LS which the primary remedy sought was money.
Paula Lockard Regular contact with city staff allows attorneys to handle cases more efficient-
Cleo Morris ly, as they are familiar with city policies and practices and know where to lo-
cate information needed for successful outcomes.
Familiarity with the various city departments and their staff builds a comforta-
ble relationship between staff
City Payouts on All Litigated Risk Cases
Year Cases Closed Payouts
FY 07-08 68 $3,328,319*
Payouts for the year also re-
mained consistent with prior FY 08-09 56 $1,487,720
years, as is indicated in the FY 09-10 54 $1,346,438
table. FY 10-11 42 $1,864,069
FY 11-12 59 $3,184,220*
*The table does not include the full payout for one case
settled in fiscal year 2007-2008 and an adverse verdict in
2011-2012. In both cases, one handled by outside counsel
and the other by the litigation section, the amount paid
exceeded the city’s self-insured retention of $2,000,000.
The table includes only the $2,000,000 paid by the city in
these two cases.
Safety and Diligent and comprehensive enforcement of
Nuisance the Sacramento City Code is essential to
achieving the city council’s goal of making
New NSNA Assignments/Matters FY 2010‐2011
Abatement Sacramento the most livable community in
Code Enforcement and
the country. The Neighborhood Safety and ‐Building and Code
Nuisance Abatement (NSNA) Section
advances that goal by improving both 1055 All Departments
public safety and the quality of life in our
city. Through the Justice for Neighbors
(JFN) Program and the Problem Oriented
Policing and Legal Action Workforce
(POPLAW) Program, NSNA attorneys
partner with police officers, enforcement New NSNA Assignments/Matters FY 2011‐2012
Gustavo L. Martinez, Supervising DCA
officers from various city departments (e.g., 173 303
Michael Benner park rangers, solid waste code officers,
Susan Hayes zoning investigator), and the community to Community Development
Steven Itagaki address crime and nuisance problems Police
David Womack All Departments
proactively and to implement innovative 1631
Phyllis Zakrajsek, Supervising LS
and comprehensive legal actions that create
Tammara Cheung safer, stronger neighborhoods.
Investigator New NSNA Ma ers
FY FY FY
2009‐2010 2010‐2011 2011‐2012
Administra ve Assignments 5 0 1
Administra ve Appeals 7 10 13
Advice 208 338 559
Collec ons 1 0 0
Criminal 618 860 1089
Defacement of Vehicle Iden ﬁca on 0 0 3
Drug Evic ons 8 51 18
Gun Evic ons 9 15 9
Ordinance 9 5 6
Physical Nuisance Abatement 2 6 3
Pitchess Mo ons 39 25 35
Public Records Act Request 106 185 89
Social Nuisance (Li ga on) 38 25 11
Subpoena 27 28 252
Warrants 3 9 4
Weapons Cases 15 20 15
Writ (Li ga on) 1 0 0
TOTALS 1096 1577 2107
The Transactional/Advisory Section provides comprehensive legal advice and service
Transactional/ to the city council; to city boards, commissions, and committees; and to city
Advisory departments and personnel. The 12 attorneys of the Transactional/Advisory Section
have a combined 246 years of practice and 132 years of practice in the City Attorney’s
Office. This experience reflects both the breadth and depth of knowledge required of
an attorney practicing municipal law. Each attorney must possess a significant
amount of both generalized legal knowledge (e.g., torts, contracts, constitutional law,
real property, etc.) and specialized knowledge of areas of municipal law (e.g., water
law, land use, zoning and planning; elections, and redistricting, bonds, taxes,
assessments, and fees) in order to serve their respective clients.
The myriad services provided by the section’s attorneys include providing written and
oral legal opinions; preparing and assisting with the preparation of ordinances and
Attorneys administrative policies; negotiating, drafting, and reviewing contracts; reviewing staff
Matthew D. Ruyak, Assistant CA reports; aiding staff in responding to subpoenas and requests under the Public Records
Gerald C. Hicks, Supervising DCA
Act; and staffing the numerous city boards and commissions.
Grace Arupo Sheryl Patterson
Kourtney Burdick Joe Robinson
Joseph Cerullo Janeth San Pedro
Paul Gale Michael Sparks
Sabina Gilbert Lan Wang
Phyllis Zakrajsek, Supervising LS
New Transac onal/Advisory Ma ers
Cleo Morris FY FY FY
2009‐2010 2010‐2011 2011‐2012
Cindy Head *General Advisory Assignments 2823 3256 2617
Staﬀ Report Review/Approval 695 999 853
Contract Review/Approval 1631 1976 1547
Ordinances 30 23 22
Public Records Act 162 251 215
**Subpoenas 297 223 23
TOTALS 5638 6733 5277
*Contains all other ma ers not individually listed below
**Police—department ma ers including subpoenas were reassigned to
NSNA during FY 2011‐2012
For Client Departments
Mayor and Council
Public Records Act Writ: The Sacramento County Superior Court agreed with the city’s
argument that emails between council members regarding redistricting are exempt from
disclosure under the California Public Records Act, recognizing, without explicit precedent, that
the deliberative-process principle applies in the public-records context.
Redistricting: The city drew new council-district boundaries in 2011, as a result of the 2010
decennial census. The City Attorney’s Office staffed the Sacramento Citizens’ Redistricting
Advisory Committee, which submitted boundary recommendations to the city council. The
office also drafted the redistricting ordinance adopted by the city council.
Proposed Charter Changes: For the third time in as many years, the city council debated
proposed charter changes. In late 2011, the city council received the proposed “Sacramento
Checks and Balances Act of 2012.” In January and February 2012, our office made
presentations at city council meetings analyzing the proposal and presenting various options for
specific charter provisions.
Charter Commission: Our office presented to the city council a primer on the creation,
operation, and other details of an elected charter commission. The city council approved the
placement of a question on the November 2012 ballot regarding the election of a charter
commission—only the third time in state history that this has been done.
Audit Review: The City Auditor annually conducts numerous internal-operation audits. As in
past years, our office staffs the Audit Committee and frequently provides comments and input
on draft audits before publication.
Landowners Election: Our office revised the city’s assessment-ballot ordinance to bring the
procedure for verification of the party authorized to cast a ballot in line with best the practices
of other cities in the state.
Public Records: The City Clerk hosted the California City Clerk’s Association conference in
Sacramento. As part of the multi-day conference, the City Attorney’s Office presented:
“Learning to Love the California Public Records Act, or Want to Ease Your Public Records
Act Workload? Start with Better Records Management.”
Elections: In election year 2012, our office assisted the City Clerk with the myriad issues that
arise before the primary and general elections, including writing initiative ballot titles and
summaries, reviewing ballot designations and candidate statements, and preparing election-
Monetizing City Parking Assets: Exploration of making the most of city assets gave our
office the opportunity to advise on the legal and practical issues with monetizing city parking
assets, the legal distinctions between on-street parking and off-street parking facilities and
revenue, and the drafting of an Request For Quotation (RFQ) targeting private companies
with experience administering municipal parking systems. Understanding these issues
helped decision-makers make informed and legally defensible choices on parking
Railyards Track Relocation: Our office helped negotiate and draft multiple agreements
necessary to relocate Union Pacific Railroad Company’s tracks within the downtown
Railyards. Relocating the tracks serves as a catalyst for development of the Railyards.
Railyards Pedestrian Tunnel: To complete the pedestrian tunnel that will connect Old
Sacramento and the Central Shops in the Railyards, our office assisted in acquiring the
necessary property rights.
Railyards Electric Power Cabinets: Our office assisted in negotiating and drafting an
agreement with the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority to help it secure $320,000 in
grant funding for purchasing electric-power cabinets to supply energy to Amtrak train cars
while they idle at the new passenger platforms in the Railyards. Replacing power from diesel
locomotives with electrical power improves the quality of life in Sacramento by reducing air
Special Taxes and Assessments: Delinquency of special taxes and assessments spiked in the city
with the economic downturn. Our office responded by helping update administrative
procedures and giving focused advice on the strict requirements for collection and the legal
complexities added when there are bankruptcy proceedings. This is necessary work for the city
to fulfill its bond-payment obligations, protect its credit rating, and ensure adherence to the rule
2012 Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes: Our office assisted the City Treasurer’s Office in
selling short-term notes in the principal amount of $36,585,000. The proceeds from the sale are
used to finance cash-flow deficits that result during the year. Those deficits occur because the
city’s expenditures tend to be fairly constant month to month whereas its receipt of revenue
tends to be uneven. In particular, property taxes are paid twice a year, in December and April,
and reimbursements from state and federal agencies have no fixed schedule.
Medical Marijuana: Our office continued to adapt to new case law in response to
evolving medical-marijuana laws and helped draft ordinance amendments to
protect the city from legal challenges and find neutral ground where the city is able
to restrict unregulated dispensaries while at the same time providing a safe and
secure place for qualified patients to obtain their medicine.
Climate Action Plan: The adoption of the Climate Action Plan in February 2012 was the
culmination of a multi-year effort to adopt a comprehensive plan for reducing greenhouse gases
and adapting to climate change. The office advised staff on the legal aspects and scope of the
plan, as well as on associated environmental issues.
Green Development Code Project: This project is a comprehensive, multi-phased update of the
zoning and subdivision titles of the city code, aimed at facilitating sustainable infill development
as envisioned by the 2030 General Plan. Our office assisted with the development and drafting
of a completely reorganized zoning title, including new permitting and processing procedures
and updated development standards.
Hearing Examiners: The city recently appointed three new hearing examiners to consider
appeals of property owners, businesses, and animal owners who received citations for violation
of the city code. Our office drafted a new manual for these hearing examiners to explain due-
process hearing procedures and their authority to set aside citations, reduce the proposed fines,
and order appellants to take actions to come into compliance with the code requirements.
Code Enforcement: The Code Enforcement division ordered a substandard and dangerous
mobile home removed from a property and the cessation of all unauthorized commercial
activity at the property. The owner filed a lawsuit in federal court, alleging liability against the
city and several employees in the Code Enforcement and Police Departments. The city filed a
motion for summary judgment to have the matter dismissed, but while the motion was pending
the court ordered the case dismissed because of the owner’s failure to cooperate and participate
in good faith in the action.
Recovery of Development Fees: As a result of our office’s filing of a lawsuit, a developer
executed a promissory note to pay the city $19,000 in delinquent development fees.
Convention, Culture, and Leisure
California State Bar Claim: The claim by the California State Bar over alleged interruption
of the bar exam at the Convention Center was resolved with the assistance from our office.
Crocker Café by Supper Club: Our office assisted in the preparation of an operating
agreement for the re-opening of the café.
Operation of City’s Golf Courses: Our office helped draft and negotiate a ten-year agreement
authorizing Morton Golf to operate Haggin Oaks, Bing Maloney, and Bartley Cavanaugh Golf
Courses. The arrangement will ultimately save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars each
Dangerous Condition Defense Verdict: The plaintiff sustained severe injuries as a result of
being struck by a large limb that fell from an oak tree at Alister McKenzie Golf Course. The
plaintiff claimed that the tree was a dangerous condition and sought damages in the seven-
figure range for medical expenses, loss of past and future income, and pain and suffering.
Following a three-week jury trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the city.
Local Business Enterprise (LBE) Program: Our office drafted an ordinance
authorizing adoption of a LBE Program and assisted city staff in implementation of
the program, including development of the LBE Preference Program Requirements.
The program reflects the importance of promoting and bolstering the local economy.
Township 9: The industrial area north of downtown has been underutilized and in need of
redevelopment. The city was successful in receiving a $30 million grant from the state to fund
infrastructure improvements and affordable housing at Township 9, which is a 65-acre site
planned for 2,350 residential units and over a million square feet of office and retail uses. Our
office drafted multiple agreements to help obtain this funding, which the developer needs to
construct streets, parks, a light-rail station, and a parking garage.
Powerhouse Science Center: The city-owned site along the Sacramento River near downtown
contains the historic PG&E powerhouse building. The Discovery Science Museum will be
located on this site. Predevelopment work has been on-going. Our office assisted this project in
preparing agreements with state agencies regarding the residual soil contamination and
rehabilitation of the building, as well as with Native American tribes concerned about cultural
and prehistoric resources being unearthed during construction.
Redevelopment Agency Dissolution: State legislation required the city to manage the
dissolution of the city’s redevelopment agency and to manage the payment of debts and the
implementing of contracts affecting 11 projects areas. Our office provided opinions interpreting
the new law and agency agreements to assist staff in meeting their obligations. Our office also
prepared a conflict-of-interest code and rules of procedure for the new Oversight Board, and
assisted in selecting independent counsel for the Board.
Tax Exempt Property: Our office advised staff on handling ad valorem tax-exempt property
within city property and business improvement districts.
Fire Code Update: Our office drafted an ordinance adopting by reference the 2010 California
Fire Code, with local amendments. The ordinance is an integral part of local efforts to
provide a reasonable level of life-safety and property protection.
Wrongful Death Defense Verdict: The plaintiff filed wrongful death claim on behalf of her
daughter who was killed in an auto accident with a city fire truck in downtown Sacramento.
She argued both that the driver of the truck was negligent and that the intersection where the
accident occurred was a dangerous condition of public property. Following a four-week jury
trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of both the city and the driver of the fire truck.
Sutter’s Landing Park: Our office provided legal support in connection with the tree
-restoration project at the former 28th Street Landfill, now part of Sutter’s Landing
Collection Services: Staff and our office worked in developing a business-plan strategy for the
way the city handles and delivers garbage, recycling, and yard-waste collection services.
Recovery for Breach of Contract: The city obtained a judgment in excess of $200,000 against a
company that failed to remit the proceeds from sales of surplus vehicles.
Denial of Labor Grievance: A group of supervisors in the Solid Waste Department filed a
grievance claiming certain job functions they were performing were in a higher job
classification and required out-of-class pay. The tasks had in fact previously been performed
by staff in a higher classification, and, when initially called upon to perform the tasks, the Human Resources
supervisors received out—of—class pay for several months. The city argued that the
responsibilities being performed overlapped and were included in several job classifications
and that the work did not involve any supervision of other supervisors within the affected
class. The matter was arbitrated, and the arbitrator denied the supervisors’ grievance.
Restraining Order: The office obtained a restraining order to protect an employee from
Unfair Labor Charge: Our office defended an unfair-labor-practice charge before the Public
Employee Relations Board (PERB), successfully preventing an injunction against layoffs.
Subrogation Recovery: Our office recovered $14,000 in a subrogation action for workers-
compensation benefits paid to a city employee as a result of an auto accident.
Collective Bargaining Agreements: Our office assisted staff in the negotiation and drafting of
new collective-bargaining agreements with five of the unions that represent city employees.
311 Mobile Application: This project will provide more self-service web and mobile- Technology
application tools for citizens to report non-emergency issues to the city’s 311 call center. The
city’s 311 call center handles approximately 1,300 calls each day and processes an average of
1,400 emails monthly. Because of limited staff resources, approximately 100,000 calls are
dropped annually. The office provided legal support to staff in developing this project designed
to improve efficiency and customer service.
PeopleSoft™ System Upgrade: This system for eCAPS is to ensure that the city maintains the
level of support required for the finance, payroll, human resources, benefits, and budget systems
and continues to comply with reporting requirements that include processing federal and state
payroll changes, direct deposits and paychecks, and accounts payable/receivable
transactions. Our office worked with staff in formulating, negotiating, and drafting an agreement
with the contractor to implement the system upgrade.
Parks and Recreation
Special Event Ordinance: Our office drafted a comprehensive ordinance to address the
permit requirements for parades, concerts, marathons, and other types of special events,
including free-speech assemblies, held in city streets and parks. The new ordinance will
allow for better enforcement of permit requirements, and encourage more community
Community Centers: Because of budget constraints, the city had to close some of its
community centers. Citizens were concerned over the loss of the recreation, enrichment, and
education programs that the city previously offered at such centers. Our office drafted
agreements to allow non-profit organizations to assume operation of the centers so that the
centers could remain open to the public for some portions of the day or week for programs and
Pools: This summer the city was facing closure of almost all of its swimming pools because of
funding cuts. The City Council’s Sponsorship Program and Advertising Policy, adopted in
2010, was implemented this past year through agreements drafted by the office with Save Mart,
YMCA, and neighborhood groups to conduct campaigns and solicit donations to keep the pools
Shasta Park Shade Structure: Without initiating litigation, our office brought five outside
vendors to the table to resolve design and construction deficiencies that resulted in the failure of
the shade structure. Under the resulting settlement agreement, the parties will repair the shade
structure and pay for those repairs. The city will pay only $2,500 toward the $50,000 repair
Dismissal of Personal Injury Claim: The plaintiff sued to recover for personal injuries following
an intersection accident with a police officer on patrol. The plaintiff dismissed the action in
response to the city’s demurrer to the complaint based on the statute of limitations.
Summary Judgment in Civil Rights Case: The plaintiff sued the city and members of the
police department, alleging wrongful arrest and constitutional violations arising from his arrest
for theft. The court granted the city’s motion for summary judgment, resulting in judgment
being entered in favor of the city and staff.
Drug and Gun Evictions: The office is authorized to evict tenants in possession of illegal
firearms and persons possessing illegal narcotics. In calendar year 2011 the office successfully
prosecuted nine gun and 26 drug evictions. The chart below reflects the activity level of all
Drug and Gun Evictions in California during 2011
20 13 9
0 0 0 0 0 0
Los Angeles Long Beach Sacramento Oakland Palmdale San Diego
California Welfare and Institutions Code section 8102 requires that whenever law-
enforcement officers detain persons because they have a mental condition that makes them a
danger to themselves or others, the officers must confiscate any firearms or other deadly
weapons. It further provides a procedure for the office to petition the court for destruction or
disposal of the firearms if returning them is likely to endanger anyone. Our office filed 15
petitions resulting in at least 49 firearms removed from mentally unstable individuals deemed
a threat to themselves or others.
Weapons and Pitchess Matters
0 10 20 30 40 50
Pitchess Motions: A pitchess motion is for the discovery of peace-officer personnel records.
Sometimes the only purpose of these motions is to conduct fishing expeditions into an officer’s
personnel file, hoping to find anything to smear the officer’s reputation. Given the sensitive
nature of peace-officer personnel records, NSNA attorneys vigorously oppose unjustified
motions, seeking appellate review if necessary.
Dismissal of “Occupy” Lawsuit: When the Occupy Sacramento movement began in October
2011, members of the movement indicated that they planned to “occupy” Cesar Chavez Plaza
continuously. The Police Department advised the members that the parks closed at 11:00 p.m.
and warned that arrests would be made of anyone who refused to disperse. The office
successfully opposed the group’s attempts to obtain a temporary restraining order from both the
state and federal courts, which would have prevented the city from enforcing the park—closure
ordinance. Both courts agreed with the city that the ordinance was a reasonable “time, place,
and manner” regulation of speech.
Various Projects: Our office assisted staff in contract negotiation and preparation for
various projects, including the following: Sacramento Valley Depot Retrofit Project;
Norwood Avenue Bridge Replacement; West El Camino Bridge Tree Maintenance
Project; Guy West Pedestrian Bridge Project; Center Parkway Bridge Project; I & J and
Alkali Flat Streetlight Projects; Del Paso Boulevard Streetscape Project; Neighborhood
Traffic Management Projects; 4th and I Street Intersection Modifications; and street overlay and
Cost Sharing Agreement for Delta Shores: Our office assisted staff in negotiating and drafting
an agreement by which the developer of the Delta Shores Project and the city will share the cost,
currently estimated to be $95.3 million, of designing and constructing a major freeway
interchange at Interstate 5 and Cosumnes River Boulevard.
Department of Utilities
Capital Improvement Financing: Our office assisted the department with development and
implementation of a multi-year water and sewer-rate increase and capital-improvement
proposals, including compliance with Proposition 218 and legal advice relative to proposed
revenue bond financing.
Settlement of Clean Water Lawsuit: In conjunction with outside counsel, our office
successfully resolved a lawsuit alleging various Clean Water Act violations arising from
sanitary sewer overflows (CSOs) from the city’s sanitary-sewer system. The consent decree
settling this case provides for numerous operational and capital improvements that are expected
to reduce the rate of CSOs, including more comprehensive inspection and cleaning programs,
increased enforcement of discharge prohibitions, and capital investment in sewer-system
Utility Billing and Collection Update: Our office drafted an ordinance comprehensively revising
city code provisions governing utility billing and collection and the termination of utility services
to comply with various state laws and update numerous operational provisions.
Urban Water Management Plan (UWMP): Our office participated in the development of the
department’s UWMP update, which the Urban Water Management Planning Act requires the
department to prepare for adoption by the City Council and submission to the State Department
of Water Resources every 5 years. The UWMP serves as a blueprint for the city’s water-supply
planning, including demand and supply projections over a 20-year period, planning for water
shortages, and water-conservation measures to reduce the demand. Our office provided advice
on legal issues relative to the city’s water rights and water supply for the UWMP update and
departmental responses to comments received on the draft UWMP update.
Dismissal of Asbestos Lawsuit: The city was sued for secondary asbestos exposure as a result of
the plaintiff’s family members working with asbestos-laden products, including sewer/water
projects for the city. Plaintiff developed peritoneal mesothelioma and was expected to die within
six months. Trial preference was granted due to her illness, but the office was able to obtain an
early dismissal from plaintiff before filing a motion for summary judgment.
Over the past five years, the office’s intern program has expanded from
one summer intern to four interns each semester and over the
summer. We have hosted approximately 12 students each year since
2009. The students apply from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge
School of Law, the University of California at Davis, and occasionally the
University of California at Berkeley. The law clerks are not paid but get a
wealth of experience as they work on issues from all three of the office’s
sections, involving research and writing memoranda, motions, and Revital Braun Michael Smith
briefs. They are also able to attend various meetings, ordinance-review sessions, arbitrations, mediations,
depositions, hearings, and trials, all of which help them integrate what they learn in school with how their skills may
City Attorney’s Law Day Event on May 2, 2012: “No Courts, No
Justice, No Freedom”
Adopting the American Bar Association theme, the office focused its third
annual Law Day program on the importance of maintaining adequate fund-
ing for our courts. Keeping courtrooms open ensures access to justice for all
Americans and maintains the checks-and-balances role the courts play in our
governmental system. This important issue was the cornerstone of the Law
Day program this year, which featured a guest speaker, the Honorable Laurie M. Earl, Presiding Judge of the Sacra-
mento Superior Court; a mock trial directed by City Attorney staff and acted out by city employees; and over a dozen
vendors from the courts and legal community.
Summer at City Hall
For the second year, the office mentored four high-school students as summer interns through the Summer at City
Hall Program. The students were given tasks that helped them learn skills needed to work in an office environ-
ment, such as answering the phones, greeting customers and dealing with the public, selecting proper work attire,
entering data into the case-management system, and updating the law library’s publications.
Office of the City Attorney
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