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SACRAMENTO CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE

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									     SACRAMENTO
CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICE




                         Annual Report
                         Fiscal Years
                         2008-2009
                         2009-2010
                        City Attorney’s Message


                       Fiscal years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 were truly a time of uncertainty,
                       arguably the most challenging two years the City of Sacramento has faced in
                       decades. With the near collapse of global financial markets, unprecedented
                       government bailouts, record numbers of property foreclosures, and political
                       turmoil at home and abroad, both the world and the City have changed
                       forever, and the City Attorney’s Office has adapted to that change. This
Annual Report (actually a “Biennial Report”) describes the legal activities of the City Attorney’s
Office during these two eventful years.

The scope of our legal practice has expanded dramatically to cover a diverse array of complex legal
issues—including some that, to my knowledge, have never before been addressed or litigated by
municipal lawyers in California. Many of these issues related to the record number of local
initiatives filed with the City or placed on the ballot. These initiatives called for a sweeping revision
of the City Charter, establishment of an independent budget analyst, a rollback of utility rates, and
approval of a marijuana tax. At the same time, however, staffing in the office is now down to pre-
1999 levels. But our attorneys rose to the challenge, doing more with less by broadening their legal
knowledge and honing their legal skills as needed to get the work done.

Importantly, one thing has not changed in the City Attorney’s Office during this tumultuous time,
and never will: the professional integrity with which we discharge our duties by ethically and
zealously representing our client, the City of Sacramento. We continue to provide unbiased,
objective, and honest advice, counsel and representation.

Consider just two of our many recent achievements:

    ●   Through a streamlined, collaborative effort of the Justice for Neighbors Program, we have
        cleaned up record numbers of problem properties throughout the City, including properties in
        foreclosure. Irresponsible property and business owners are being held accountable and can
        no longer profit from their tenants’ or their own offending conduct at the expense of their
        neighbors. And by threatening eviction in accordance with authority granted by two new state
        laws, we have forced dozens of drug dealers and gun-law violators to move out of what used
        to be, but no longer are, problem properties.

    ●   Litigators in the City Attorney’s Office, who are among the best in the state, have ethically
        and zealously defended the City against an unrelenting stream of lawsuits large and small,
        disposing of an impressive 68% of the damage suits against the City without payment of any
        City money.

I encourage you to read more about the outstanding work performed during these difficult times by
the women and men in the Sacramento City Attorney’s Office.




2
                                                             IN FOND MEMORY OF 
                                                       ASSISTANT CITY ATTORNEY 
                                                           RICHARD E. ARCHIBALD 

                                              as the consistent quality of his work,
                                              motivated the rest of us to put forth
                                              our best effort; his ever-present
                                              humor reminded us not to take
                                              ourselves too seriously; and his
In July, 2009, after 22 years of service      strong sense of ethics served as a
with the City Attorney’s Office, Assistant    model to always stand up for what
City Attorney Richard E. Archibald            we think is right. Rich’s death was a
passed away due to adrenal cancer. As a       tragic loss for his family, friends,
highly regarded expert on municipal law,      legal community, co-workers and the
and the longest-serving member of the         City, but we also feel privileged for
office, Rich was the “go to” attorney on      the opportunity we had to know him.
complex legal issues ranging from thorny
land use disputes, to conflict of interest    Rich’s Legacy
problems, to first amendment matters.
                                              To encourage future lawyers to follow
Rich started his legal career as an intern    Rich’s career path the Richard E.
in the City Attorney’s Office while           Archibald Municipal Law Clerk
attending law school at UC Davis. After       Foundation, a 501(C)(3) non-profit
graduating in 1980, Rich worked for           corporation, was formed. This Foun-
federal Magistrate Judge Esther Mix,          dation will fund stipends for law
followed by a stint in private practice,      clerks in the Sacramento City Attor-
before rejoining the City Attorney's Office   ney’s Office to further the education,
as an attorney. As anyone who worked          training, and experience of law stu-
with him could attest, Rich was an            dents in the area of municipal law
outstanding attorney, blessed with an         and foster development of future city
encyclopedic recall of legal knowledge,       attorneys. Donations may be made
combined in equal measure with common         to: Richard E. Archibald Municipal
sense and practical insight that shaped       Law Clerk Foundation, c/o Bob Toku-
the advice and assistance he provided to      naga, 1141 Robertson Way, Sacra-
clients. Rich also was a pleasure to work     mento, CA 95818.
with. His wit and humorous stories were
legendary.                                    In addition, the foundation is a part
                                              of the City’s charitable giving cam-
His office door was never closed, and he      paign allowing employees to make
always was willing to put his own work        direct contributions.
aside to patiently help others. Rich’s
ethics, commitment to his clients, as well

3
                                             In 2001 the City Attorney assumed an
                                             additional role as City Prosecutor of
                                             misdemeanor and infraction violations
                                             of the City Code. Violations of the
                                             California Penal Code and other state
                                             criminal laws remain the prosecutorial
                                             responsibility of the District Attorney.

                                             Structured to Meet Sacramento’s Goals 

                                             The City Attorney’s Office two distinct
The City Attorney’s Clients and Roles        roles—City legal counsel and City Code
                                             prosecutor—drive the organizational
Both state law and the City Charter          structure of the office, with legal
specify the City Attorney’s role and         counsel functions provided primarily by
clients. The City Attorney’s principal       the Transactional/Advisory and
role is “legal counsel.” Under the           Litigation Sections, and City Code
Charter, the City of Sacramento acts         prosecutor functions provided largely
through the Mayor and City Council           by the Neighborhood Safety and
acting as a body. Therefore, the City        Nuisance Abatement Section.
Attorney is legal counsel to the Mayor
and City Council, and those persons,         The City Council’s five planning focus
such as the City Manager, City               areas provide the framework for
Treasurer, City Clerk, and Department        carrying out its vision for the City:
Heads, empowered by the City Council,
the Charter, or state law to act on behalf            Culture and Entertainment
of the City.                                          Economic Development
                                                      Public Safety
The Mayor and City Council represent                  Safe and Affordable Housing
the residents of Sacramento, and when                 Sustainability and Livability
the City Attorney’s Office (“CAO”)
advises and represents the Mayor and         Just as the City Council’s five planning
City Council, the residents indirectly       focus areas direct the efforts and
benefit from that advice and                 activities of the City’s Charter Officers
representation. It is a rare week when a     and Departments, they also direct the
member of the public does not call the       efforts and activities of the City
City Attorney’s Office requesting legal      Attorney’s Office in providing legal
assistance or representation, claiming       services associated with and arising
they are entitled to such legal services     out of those focus areas. The interplay
as residents of the City. However, the       of those focus areas with our roles as
Charter’s definition of the City             legal counsel and prosecutor is
Attorney’s clients, effectively proscribes   discussed more fully in this report
the City Attorney from advising and          under the Neighborhood Safety and
representing others, such as City            Nuisance Abatement, Litigation, and
residents.                                   Transactional/Advisory sections.

4
                                                           New Assignments/Cases
                                               Clients                    2008-    2009-
                                                                          2009     2010
                                               All Council Districts         54            98
                                               City Attorney’s Office        68            26
                                               City Auditor                   2             8
                                               City Clerk                    66            49
                                               City Manager                  76            87
                                               City Treasurer                37            46
                                               Code Enforcement             291        357
                                               Community Development                   325
                                               Conv., Culture & Leisure     254        343

Administration                                 Development Services         266        104
                                               Economic Development         208        182
While the demand for legal services is         Finance                      138        131
seemingly unlimited, the resources to
                                               Fire                         168        118
provide those services grow increasingly
limited. Good organization, efficient office   General Services             719        614
management, and first-rate leadership are      Governmental Affairs          47             2
essential to meet demand by providing
                                               Human Resources              132        141
excellent legal services in a cost effective
manner.                                        Information Technology        88        121
                                               Labor Relations              185            79
The Administration Team—consisting of
                                               Library Authority              1        443
the City Attorney, Assistant City Attorney
Sandra Talbott, Supervising Deputy City        Mayor                         15             7
Attorneys Gustavo Martinez, Matt Ruyak,        Neighborhood Services         25             5
and Brett Witter, Office Administrator Toni
                                               Outside Agency Referral       21             7
Jones, and Special Assistant to the City
Attorney Lorraine Odom—provide these           Parks and Recreation         316        488
organizational, managerial, and leadership     Planning                     164             8
skills ensuring the City receives cost-        Planning Commission            1            23
effective and excellent legal services.
                                               Police                     1,096      1,284
                                               Procurement                   0         159
                                               Revenue                       0              6
                                               Risk Management                3             1
                                               Transportation               697        578
                                               Utilities                  1,018        956
                                               No Department Specified        5            54
5                                                            TOTAL        6,163      6,850
Staff development and training—both           Because approximately 92% of the
internal and external—remained a key          City Attorney’s annual budget is for
focus of the Administration Team in fiscal    personnel-related costs, the
years 2008-2010. Senior deputy city           required level of budget reductions
attorneys continued spearheading a            for the reporting period was
monthly in-house State Bar sanctioned         achieved primarily through staffing
training program, providing mandatory         reductions. From a high of 58 full-
continuing legal education (MCLE) credits     time equivalent (“FTEs”) in fiscal
to attorneys in the City Attorney’s Office.   year 2007-2008, City Attorney’s
On-site legal professional association        Office staffing was cut to 53 FTEs in
seminars are provided for legal               fiscal year 2008-2009 and then 49
professional staff. Attorneys conducted       FTEs in fiscal year 2009-2010.
City University classes on Sacramento
City Charter Fundamentals, Conflicts of                CAO’s Budget Savings* 
Interest, Mass Mailings and Gift Rules,              FY               TOTAL 
and Success at the Podium: Preparing and
                                               2001/2002       $513,437
Presenting Effecting Council Staff
                                               2002/2003       $846,117
Reports. The City Attorney offered
                                               2003-2004       $257,015
individualized training on the spectrum of
municipal laws to the Mayor and his staff.     2004/2005       $476,488
                                               2005/2006       $462,567
Budget                                         2006/2007**     $514,461
                                               2007/2008       $410,840
The City Attorney’s Office annual budgets      2008/2009       $436,595
in fiscal years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010        2009/2010       $554,400
were $6,752,960 and $6,971,919
respectively, of which $4,466,841 and
$4,341,476, respectively, were derived        *Total for each fiscal year includes
from the city’s general fund. The City        budget savings from the CAO’s
Attorney’s Office budget has decreased by     operational budget as well as the
$566,975 since fiscal year 2007-2008.         litigation fund, plus unbudgeted
Additionally, to assist efforts to balance    revenues, all achieved through
the citywide budget, the City Attorney’s      continual operating efficiencies, fiscal
                                              conservatism, and revenue recovery
Office transferred “one-time” funds
                                              efforts.
totaling $568,999 to the city general fund
from a fund that the City Attorney’s          **Beginning in 2006/2007, the CAO’s
Office had accumulated from prior years’      budget savings were swept into the city
budget savings.                               general fund to address the general
                                              fund deficit.


                                              NOTE BENE: Since FY 2007-2008, the City
                                              Attorney’s Office has unfunded 10 FTEs,
                                              including 4 attorney positions, shrinking
                                              staffing levels to 1999 levels.
6
   Neighborhood Safety and Nuisance Abatement 
      
                                   The Neighborhood Safety and
                                   Nuisance Abatement (NSNA)
                                   section is responsible for the
                                   handling of all City Code
                                   enforcement issues, including
                                   training and advising staff on
                                   enforcement matters, and
                                   prosecuting violations through
                                   administrative, civil, or criminal
                                   actions.
GUSTAVO MARTINEZ
Supervising Deputy City Attorney
                                     Attorneys:
                                       Michael Benner
                                       Michael Fry
                                       Susan Hayes
                                       Gary Lindsey
                                       Steve Itagaki

                                     Paralegals:
                                       Norma Florendo
                                       Lynette Fuson

                                     Legal Secretaries:
                                       Jenny Beck
                                       Dianne Chasteen
                                       Jamie Gifford
                                       Angela Kolak
                                       Cleo Morris
                                       Desiree Stockton




  7
                                              residential), and businesses. Typically,
NSNA                                          NSNA seeks court orders that (1)
                                              require property owners to clean up
Overview                                      their properties or maintain
                                              landscaping, (2) require certain
Diligent and comprehensive enforcement        problem persons to stay away from
of the Sacramento City Code is essential      properties, and (3) appoint receivers to
to achieving the city council’s goal of       repair and rehabilitate problem
making Sacramento the most livable            properties. For commercial properties,
community in the country. The City            NSNA may also request orders that
Attorney’s Neighborhood Safety and            require increased lighting, security
Nuisance Abatement section (“NSNA”)           guards, and other safety related
serves as legal counsel and prosecutor for    measures. Because civil lawsuits can
a multi-departmental team effort to           be complex and time-consuming, they
improve public safety. NSNA also              are generally reserved for the most
provides training to the city’s               serious community problems, such as
enforcement departments (e.g., the police     complex housing and building
department’s problem-oriented police          abatement cases, and drug, gang,
officers (“POP”) and code enforcement         prostitution, and chronic social
officers) as part of its team approach to     nuisance cases.
addressing and responding to citywide
                                               NOTE BENE: The NSNA Section has
enforcement problems and issues. The
                                               collected $48,605 in penalties and fees
goal is to create a seamless process from      related to social nuisance cases in this
the inception of an enforcement case           reporting period.
through its prosecution.

Code Enforcement and Nuisance Abatement       Administrative Enforcement Actions 
Tools 
                                              The city code authorizes city staff to
The city code and state law, including        pursue enforcement actions through
specialized nuisance abatement laws,          various administrative proceedings,
provide code enforcement staff and NSNA       such as imposing administrative
a variety of enforcement tools. NSNA          penalties; ordering buildings and
routinely uses three types of enforcement     properties closed, demolished, secured,
actions to prosecute nuisance cases: civil,   or cleaned up; and issuing stop-work
administrative, and criminal.                 orders. Administrative enforcement
                                              also includes business and zoning
                                              violations, and matters related to the
Civil Actions  
                                              city’s entertainment permits. NSNA
In civil actions, NSNA invokes state and      advises staff on applying the city code’s
local laws to file lawsuits on the city’s     administrative enforcement remedies
behalf against problem persons,               to specific cases. NSNA attorneys also
properties (both commercial and               serve as advocates before


8
administrative hearing officers in
appropriate cases. Although code
enforcement staff can handle most
administrative actions, NSNA assists
staff with actions involving complex legal
issues or parties represented by counsel.

Criminal Prosecutions 

When appropriate, NSNA attorneys file
criminal complaints against city code
violators. If convicted, these violators
may be sentenced to serve jail time, or
placed on probation subject to specified
conditions such as stay-away orders, job-
and housing-search requirements, clean-
up requirements, and other conditions
designed to deter future violations. The
most common prosecutions for city code
violations are those dealing with
substandard housing or buildings, failure
to comply with an administrative notice           People v. Offender B (Dist. 8):
and order, illegal dumping, commercial              The offender was criminally cited
violations, illegal businesses, drinking in         for trespassing at an apartment
public, and trespassing. These                      complex, despite having received
prosecutions greatly enhance the quality            a prior notice not to enter or be on
of life in city neighborhoods and                   the property. The offender
communities.                                        pleaded guilty, and as part of his
                                                    sentence he served four days in
 Here are three notable criminal cases              jail and was ordered to stay away
from fiscal years 2008-2009 and 2009-               from the apartment complex for
2010:                                               life or until the apartment owner
                                                    returned his privilege to enter the
       People v. Offender A (Dist. 3):            complex.
         The offender was criminally cited
         for repeatedly ignoring Code             People v. Offender C (Dist. 5):
         Enforcement orders to remove the           The offender was criminally cited
         junk and debris from his property.         for illegally dumping a washer
         The offender pleaded guilty, and as        and building material near the K-
         part of his sentence he agreed to          Mart store on Stockton Boulevard.
         clean up the property and pay              He was convicted, ordered to pay
         $3,431 in penalties to the city.           a $1,000 fine, and placed on one
                                                    year of probation.

9
NSNA Client  and Services                   Downtown Enforcement Team/Task Force 

NSNA attorneys provide myriad services      To complement the efforts of Code
to their client departments. For example:   Enforcement staff, the District
                                            Attorney’s community prosecutor, and
Code Enforcement Department                 the police department, NSNA joined
                                            this focused team effort in the
   Advice, criminal prosecution,          downtown area, producing several
     inspection warrants, and nuisance      positive benefits such as—
     abatements
   Advocacy and representation at            Maintaining a downtown presence
     administrative hearings                      of law enforcement through walk-
   Enforcement of entertainment                 abouts with police officers,
     ordinance                                    Downtown Partnership staff, the
   Review of contracts, administrative          community prosecutor, and city-
     notices, letters, and forms                  code enforcement staff;
   Periodic training of enforcement staff    Identifying and obtaining quick
   Support for the neighborhood response        resolution of downtown issues,
     teams                                        such as problem properties; and
   Enforcement support for the housing       Participating and teaching in the
     and dangerous building division              Downtown Partnership’s safety
   Enforcement support for the business         and crime prevention forums
     compliance division                     
   Drafting enforcement-related           Fire Department 
     ordinances and ordinance amendments
   Illegal dumping program                    City code enforcement advice
   Graffiti abatement actions                 Support on fire prevention issues
 
Development Services Department             Parks and Recreation Department 

 Enforcement support for pursuing             Enforcement of city code chapter
   violations of title 17 (zoning) of the         12.72 (parks, park buildings, and
   Sacramento City Code                           recreational facilities)
 Assistance with enforcement of              Enforcement of city code chapters
   entitlement conditions                        12.56 (trees generally), 12.60
                                                 (Dutch elm disease), and 12.64
                                                 (heritage trees)
              2008-2009 New NSNA Matters             2009-2010 New NSNA Matters
                                             Code Enforcement
     Code Enforcement                 241                                      262
                                            Police                             761
     Police                           421

  All Others                           63   All Others                         73

  TOTAL                               725   TOTAL                           1,096

10
Police Department                                Vehicle Code Prosecutions 
                                                  
        Advice on city code enforcement        The Sacramento Police Department
          issues                                 identified a residence being used as a
        Criminal prosecution of city code      chop shop. Auto parts from at least six
          violations                             stolen vehicles were recovered, and the
        Periodic training on enforcement       suspects were arrested and convicted.
          matters                                During the investigation, the police
        Problem-oriented-policing (“POP”)      department located a 1994 Acura
          projects                               Integra assembled predominately of
        Drug abatements                        stolen auto parts. Many parts on the
        Actions to abate social nuisances      vehicle had identification numbers
        Gang injunctions                       removed or altered.
        Drug and gun evictions
                                            Under Vehicle Code section 10751, any
                                            vehicle found with altered or defaced
Discovery of Peace Officer Personnel Records  
                                            component parts can be seized and
Criminal defendants often file so-called    destroyed. NSNA attorneys
Pitchess motions to gain access to          successfully petitioned the court for an
confidential peace officer personnel        order of destruction, and the vehicle
records. Sometimes the only purpose of      was “crushed” at a local auto-salvage
these motions is to conduct fishing         yard. NSNA and the police
expeditions in a police officer’s personnel department publicized the destruction
file, hoping to find anything the defendant to serve as a warning to auto thieves
can use to smear the officer’s reputation.  that their cars could be next.
Given the sensitive nature of peace officer
personnel records, NSNA attorneys
vigorously oppose unjustified motions,
seeking appellate review if necessary. In
fiscal year 2008-2009 we handled 24
Pitchess motions, and in 2009-2010 we
handled 39 — a 60% increase from the
year before.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
                  Pitchess Motions  

11
JUSTICE FOR NEIGHBORS                     alcoholic beverage establishments
                                          within the city, and NSNA attended
On August 1, 2006, NSNA launched the      joint meetings with the police
Justice-For-Neighbors program (“JFN”)     department, the United States
targeting major social nuisance and       Attorney, and slumlords where we
criminal nuisance cases that degrade      have demanded compliance with
the quality of life in the city’s         federal, state, and local laws. Each
neighborhoods. Executive team             department or office brings its own
members of the JFN committee meet         expertise and authority to the table,
once a month to discuss the progress of   and by working together we have been
each case and identify new cases that     able to resolve social nuisance cases
merit JFN enforcement. The JFN            much sooner than ever before.
committee consists of the CAO and the
following departments and divisions       After launching the JFN program in
within the city: the police department,   2006, the CAO experienced a sharp
the code enforcement, housing and         increase in social nuisance cases—
dangerous buildings, and neighborhood     jumping from 2 cases filed in 2006 to
services divisions of the community       33 cases in 2007. The trend continued
development department; and the solid     into 2008 as 37 cases were handled. In
waste division of the utilities           2009, however, we noticed a notable
department.                               decline in the number of social
                                          nuisance cases referred to our office.
A welcome byproduct of JFN has been       We went from 37 cases in 2008 to 18 in
the creation of new and more efficient    2009.
relationships between the CAO and
outside agencies.

To focus on problem properties,
businesses, and people in the city, the
CAO has established relationships and
collaborated with the California
Department of Alcoholic Beverage
Control (“ABC”), the United States
Attorney, the Office of the Inspector
General, the Sacramento County
District Attorney, and other local        Our data suggests that the decline in
agencies such as the Sacramento           numbers was related to the budgetary
Housing and Redevelopment Agency.         challenges faced by the enforcement
Our relationships have enabled us to      departments (police department and
create joint task forces to focus on      code enforcement). The police
particular problems. For example,         department had been forced to deploy
together with the ABC, NSNA               its limited resources to handling high-
performed unannounced inspections of      priority crime, and code enforcement
                                          had been

12
required to layoff inspectors. This        requested to attend POP-team roll
reduction in resources substantially       calls and hold office hours in the field.
decreased the social nuisance work load    The goal was to lessen the paperwork
in this office.                            burden on POP officers by allowing the
                                           POPLAW attorneys to take over that
To address the downward trend, we          role, so that the POP officers could
revamped our community prosecution         focus on the streets.
initiative called problem-oriented
policing and legal-action workforce        POPLAW yielded positive results, as
(“POPLAW”). Community prosecution          we saw an increase in prosecution of
focuses on targeted areas and involves a   social nuisance cases. In fiscal year
long-term, proactive partnership           2009-2010, we handled 31 social nui-
between the prosecutor’s office, law       sance cases (a sharp increase from 18
enforcement, the community, and            the year before). In addition, we saw a
public and private organizations,          steady number of gun- and drug-
whereby the authority of the               eviction cases that added to the com-
prosecutor’s office is used to solve       prehensive nature of community polic-
problems, improve public safety, and       ing by removing problem people from
enhance the quality of life in the         neighborhoods and shutting down
community. The common denominator          their criminal activities.
of all community prosecution programs
is that prosecutors operate in response
to community needs. Problems can be
identified through analyzing crime
patterns and socioeconomic data, as
well as by attending community
meetings and listening to concerns of
citizens. Once problems are identified,
resources are allocated accordingly.

In fiscal year 2009-2010, POPLAW
attorneys were assigned cases from
specific geographical areas (north,
central, and south). These attorneys
were required to become familiar with
neighborhood residents and their com-
plaints about social nuisances by at-
tending community meetings, giving
presentations at schools and civic group
meetings, educating citizens on how to
provide helpful information to law en-
                                           POPLAW attorneys conduct ride-alongs with
forcement, and encouraging community
                                           POP Officers. In this instance the POPLAW
involvement in enforcement. Most           team evaluated unlawful campgrounds from the
importantly, these attorneys were          air to more effectively identify solutions and
                                           nuisance abatement.
13
Justice for Neighbors Social-
Nuisance Abatements
                                                      for purposes of illegal drug
The police department’s POP teams and                 activity. Calls for police service
NSNA’s attorneys take an aggressive                   were excessive. In a joint effort,
approach against gang members, drug                   the police department and ABC
sellers, prostitutes, and property owners             conducted an undercover operation
who permit their properties to be used                that resulted in the owner being
for criminal activities. When NSNA                    charged with purchasing stolen
closes down a drug or nuisance                        property on multiple occasions and
property, the neighborhood sees an                    engaging in welfare fraud. NSNA
immediate change for the better:                      filed a social nuisance lawsuit that
children play once again in their front               resulted in a permanent injunction
yards, and litter, trash, and drug                    requiring the store owner to stop
paraphernalia disappear. Here are a                   selling single containers of alcohol,
few of the notable civil cases:                       to install a sound system capable
                                                      of playing classical music (which
         3101 61st Street (District 6): The         discourages loitering), to install
          elderly owner of a single-family            video surveillance cameras, and to
          home had multiple occupants who             reimburse the city for some of its
          consumed illegal narcotics. Because         past response costs. Since then,
          the owner unable to control the             calls for service have drastically
          drug-related nuisances occurring in         declined, and the loitering has
          the home, NSNA filed a social               stopped. The owner has returned
          nuisance lawsuit that resulted in a         to being a good neighbor.
          permanent injunction ordering the
          drug-using tenant to stay away.
          With the support of the POP team,
          the CAO, and Sacramento County
          Adult Protective Services, the
          owner was placed in an assisted-
          living facility for her own benefit.
          Calls to the police stopped, and the
          elder abuse was eliminated.

        Don’s Bottle Shop ― 611 16th Street
          (District 3): The owner of a liquor       American Spirits Sports Bar —
          store allowed its parking lot to            3270 Northgate Boulevard
          become a center for criminal                (District 1): This bar had
          activity that included social               generated over 400 calls for police
          nuisances such as drinking,                 service over a five-year period.
          urinating in public, and loitering          The bar experienced fights,
                                                      robberies, drug dealing, and
                                                      drunken mayhem in the parking

14
      lot after the bar closed at night.        occurring in the parking lot.
      NSNA filed a social nuisance
      lawsuit against the owner of the         C Street (District 3): A property
      shopping center and the bar tenant.       owner allowed his empty lot in a
      The parties understood that the           residential neighborhood to be
      calls for service were elevated when      utilized as an illegal camping site.
      the bar was providing                     After numerous neighbor
      entertainment events such as live         complaints about the round-the-
      DJ’s, live bands, dancing, and            clock noise and foot traffic from the
      karaoke that attracted people from        campers, and the smells of the
      outside the neighborhood. The             portable toilets, the CAO filed a
      tenant bar owner was forced to            nuisance abatement lawsuit against
      surrender the bar’s entertainment         the owner. Shortly thereafter, the
      permit. The result was a dramatic         owner entered into a settlement
      reduction in the calls for service.       agreement with the city agreeing to
      The bar has returned to being a           cease and desist from permitting
      neighborhood bar.                         illegal camping on the site.

    Denny’s—6401 Mack Road (District
      8): This 24-hour dining
      establishment had developed a
      reputation for people hanging out
      after the bar closed at 2:00 a.m. As
      a result of inadequate security, the
      restaurant experienced assaults,
      robberies, multiple shootings, and
      large gatherings of gang members
      that frequently resulted in violence.    2208 24th Street (District 4): This
      Denny’s refused to close during the       single-family home had become a
      late hours despite the                    gang house. The owner had
      overwhelming evidence that by             allowed her home to be frequented
      staying open late it too was the          by, and occupied by, drug users,
      victim of crime. NSNA filed a social      criminals, and validated gang
      nuisance lawsuit that resulted in a       members. The criminal activity
      permanent injunction requiring            peaked when a drive-by shooting
      Denny’s to close between 12 a.m.          occurred, presumably targeting one
      and 5 a.m. and further ordering the       or more gang members inside.
      shopping center owner to provide          NSNA filed a social nuisance
      24-hour security to keep people out       lawsuit that resulted in a
      of the parking lot during those           permanent injunction requiring the
      times. The calls for service have         owner to, among other remedies,
      markedly decreased, and there are         prohibit all parolees, probationers,
      no reports of criminal activity           gang members, and drug users from


15
          entering or remaining on her
          property and hiring a professional
          property management company to
          maintain the property. The court
          also awarded the city $325,000.00
          in attorney’s fees, costs, and civil
          penalties. Since the injunction
          was entered, calls for service have
          drastically declined, and the
          criminal activity has stopped. The     The Dixieanne Apartments had a history
                                                 of being an open air drug market. NSNA
          homeowner has returned to being
                                                 secured a permanent injunction and a
          a good neighbor.                       $29,000 award against the owner.

        729 Dixieanne Ave. (District 2):
          This apartment complex had
          developed a reputation for being an       Gun Evictions: Under new state
          open air drug market. The                   legislation that took effect on
          property generated excessive calls          January 1, 2008, the City
          for service that often involved             Attorney is authorized to evict
          shootings and violence. Gangs               tenants for firearm-related
          claimed the apartment complex as            offenses committed on rental
          their territory and operated inside         property. NSNA filed six gun-
          to sell drugs. NSNA filed a social          eviction actions in this reporting
          nuisance action that resulted in a          period. All of the gun evictions
          permanent injunction ordering the           involved illegal gun possession or
          property owner to stop the                  gang violence, and sometimes
          criminal activity in the complex.           both. In one case in the 700 block
          The court also awarded the city             of Northfield Drive (District 1), a
          $29,000.00 in penalties against the         17-year-old was shot and killed by
          property owner. Since the                   a 19-year-old near the apartment
          injunction was entered, calls for           complex where the victim’s family
          service have declined and while             resided. NSNA promptly evicted
          the complex has remedied some of            the crime family from the
          its worst offenses, NSNA continues          complex. A separate gang-
          to monitor and conduct inspections          affiliated family residing in the
          with enforcement departments to             same apartment complex was
          prevent a return to business as             likewise evicted pursuant to the
          usual.                                      gun-eviction law about the same
                                                      time. The evictions of two crime
                                                      families for gun violations
                                                      resulted in an immediate and
                                                      noticeable relief to the remaining
                                                      law-abiding tenants in the


16
       neighborhood. It also reduced the          committee of the federally funded
       potential for increased gang activity      weed-and-seed program. The
       and retaliation by and against the         program’s goal is to “weed out” social
       two crime families.                        nuisances such as illegal-drug sales
                                                  and crime by using targeted law
     Drug Evictions: As a result of             enforcement, and then to “seed” the
       NSNA’s demonstrated competence in          Oak Park neighborhood with
       handling gun evictions, the                restoration efforts such as after
       legislature added the Sacramento           school programs and focused
       City Attorney to the short list of city    collaboration with neighborhood
       attorneys authorized to evict tenants      social services. Using the successful
       for unlawful possession of illegal         nuisance abatement action at
       narcotics on rental property (the          McClatchy Park in fiscal year 2007-
       others are Los Angeles, Long Beach,        2008 as a guide, and with the
       Oakland, and San Diego). Since our         support of the weed-and-seed team,
       office was added to the list on            NSNA attorneys filed individual
       January 1, 2010, NSNA has filed            nuisance actions against 16
       seven drug-eviction cases. In one          defendants who had a history of
       case, on the 3100 block of San Rafael      selling illegal drugs on the 3600
       Avenue (District 5), police officers       block of Pansy Avenue. Since then
       had been routinely confiscating            there has been a noticeable decline
       drugs and digital scales from the          in the illegal-drug activity in that
       tenant’s property. Although the            area.
       tenant admitted that he allowed                  2009-2010 New NSNA Matters
       drug dealers to use his porch for         Administrative Assignment  5
       selling drugs, and despite other          Administrative Appeals     7
       overwhelming evidence of illegal-
                                                 Advice                     78
       drug sales, the landlord refused to
                                                 Collections                1
       evict the tenant. NSNA attorneys
       filed a drug-eviction case and            Criminal                   618
       threatened to join the landlord in the    Drug Evictions             8
       eviction proceeding. Within 30 days       General Questions          125
       after the notice of eviction was filed,   Gun Evictions              9
       the landlord evicted the tenant,          Litigation Review          4
       bringing immediate relief to the          Ordinance                      9
       neighborhood and resolving a long-
                                                 Petition for Review            1
       festering social nuisance
                                                 Physical Nuisance Abatement    2
       without protracted civil litigation
                                                 Pitchess Motions               39
       against the landlord.
                                                 Public Records Act Request     106
      Weed-and-Seed Program (District 5):      Social Nuisance (Litigation)   38
       NSNA attorneys are actively               Subpoena                       27
       working with the steering                 Warrants                       3
                                                 Weapons Cases                  15
                                                 Writ (Litigation)              1
17
                                                 TOTAL                          1,096
                 Litigation

                                        The Litigation Section is
                                        responsible for handling all
                                        civil litigation for the City
                                        of Sacramento and its
                                        employees. Attorneys in the
                                        Litigation Section handle
                                        lawsuits where the City or
                                        staff is the plaintiff or
                                        defendant, in matters that
                                        encompass the entire
                                        spectrum of municipal law.
     BRETT WITTER
                                        Attorneys:
     Supervising Deputy City Attorney
                                              Sheri Chapman
                                              Marcos Kropf
                                              Kathleen Rogan
                                              Chance Trimm
                                              David Womack

                                        Paralegal:
                                              Lynette Fuson

                                        Legal Secretaries:
                                              Colleen Clay
                                              Erica Dillard
                                              Jamie Gifford
                                              Kathy Montgomery
                                              Di Walters
                                              Phyllis Zakrajsek




18
Litigation                                  continued to aggressively pursue
                                            individuals who owe the city money on
                                            contracts or for unpaid fees.
 Overview 
                                            Finally, litigation attorneys provided
 For fiscal years 2008-2009 and 2009-       important advisory services to several
 2010, the City Attorney’s Office (CAO)     departments on an as-needed basis and
 continued its commitment to                consistently provided advice to the
 maintaining one of the strongest           police and fire departments, the labor
 municipal litigation units in the state.   relations department, and the risk-
 This section has earned the respect of     management and workers’
 clients and adversaries and continues      compensation divisions of the human
 to enjoy a high level of success. As in    resources department.
 years past, this success has greatly
 reduced payouts in damage cases and        Significant Savings by Keeping Litigation 
 minimized the expense of retaining         In‐House 
 outside counsel, thereby preserving
 precious budget resources. This success    When the CAO began handling all
 has also fostered client confidence and    litigation in-house, the primary goal was
 trust in the litigation attorneys’         to decrease the cost of referring
 expertise and dedication across a wide     litigation to outside counsel. This goal
 variety of matters. The ever-improving     has been met by consistently realizing a
 relationship between attorney and          substantial budget savings over
 client reduces the stress of litigation    referring matters out. Five years ago,
 for our clients and ensures more open      the office also stopped the practice of
 lines of communication with them.          regularly rotating attorneys into and out
                                            of the litigation section. This has
 Litigation attorneys represented the       allowed the section to hire and retain
 city and city staff as plaintiff or        experienced litigators, which has
 defendant in all areas of the law, even    increased the chances for success in all
 those not typically associated with a      matters and further minimized the need
 municipal practice. Cases in which a       to refer cases to outside counsel. Simply
 plaintiff seeks damages from the city      put, experienced litigators are more
 remain the majority of cases handled       capable and willing to handle a broader
 by the section, including cases            spectrum of cases, and have the
 involving alleged violations of civil      experience and skill to do so
 rights, employment disputes, breaches      successfully.
 of contract, and personal injury. But
 litigation attorneys also spent
 considerable time defending the city in      NOTA BENE: Over the two year period
 writ proceedings and in disciplinary,        covered by this report, just one litigation
 contract, and statutory matters related      matter was referred to outside counsel at
                                              city expense-the first in the last five
 to labor relations. The section has
                                              years.
 19
The starting point for understanding         downsized by one attorney in fiscal year
the savings realized by keeping              2007-2008. Even so, litigation attorneys
litigation in-house is a comparison of       have created savings and efficiencies by
the hourly rates for litigation section      focusing their continuing education on
attorneys with rates for outside counsel.    those areas where they have active
As in years past, the cost of one hour of    cases and by attending local continuing
personnel time for a deputy city             education programs whenever possible.
attorney, including all benefits and         In addition, the litigation section has
overhead costs, remains substantially        been experimenting with having two-
lower than for private-sector attorneys.     attorney teams assigned to certain
This is only the beginning of the            larger cases, the goal being to prevent a
savings, however, as the “hourly rate”       single case from excessively diverting
for deputy city attorneys is based upon      one attorney’s time from other assigned
a 40-hour week, yet litigation attorneys     matters. Having these teams also
regularly work much longer hours.            provides an opportunity for litigation
Furthermore, the use of in-house             attorneys to practice in new areas of the
litigators allows the city to reject         law with attorneys experienced in those
“nuisance” or “cost of defense”              areas.
settlements, which not only saves
money in the immediate term but also         Customer satisfaction remains an area
pays dividends long term, as local           of focus for the section, and is achieved
attorneys do not see the city as an easy     by maintaining—and improving—our
mark for quick settlements. Although         relationships with all city departments.
the actual amount saved by keeping           A client’s comfort and confidence with
litigation in-house is difficult to          the litigation attorneys is vital to the
calculate accurately, it is safe to say      litigation section’s success and is never
that the differences in the cost of          taken for granted. Meeting with clients
litigation expense across the 433            before depositions, mediations,
matters handled by the litigation            arbitrations, settlement conferences,
section over the last two fiscal years has   and trials has helped to de-mystify
saved hundreds of thousands of dollars.      these procedures and has allowed the
                                             litigation section’s clients to be more
Fostering Client Comfort and Confidence      comfortable when participating in what
                                             can be a stressful experience. Thanks to
                                             diligent preparation by litigation
In the office’s last annual report, the      attorneys and open lines of
litigation section’s stated primary goals    communication, our clients have
were to focus its attention on increased     developed confidence in the litigation
efficiency and customer satisfaction         attorneys and know that the attorneys
through successful resolution of             will help them to achieve successful
lawsuits.                                    litigation results.

Finding efficiencies in the litigation
section has been difficult, as the section

20
      Aggressively Pursuing Revenue                   Payouts for fiscal years 2008-2009 and
                                                      2009-2010 remained consistent with
      In fiscal year 2008-2009, the litigation        recent years, despite seeing a major
      section began to work increasingly              upswing in the number of cases in
      with staff to ensure that the city’s            which significant damages are
      debtors honored their obligations and           realistically sought.
      to recover litigation costs and
      attorney’s fees when the city was               City Payouts on All Litigated Risk Cases1 
      entitled to them. In fiscal years 2008-
      2009 and 2009-2010, litigation                        Year             Cases              Payouts
      attorneys collected thousands of dollars                               Closed
      from debtors and from persons who                  FY 05-06                44             $765,953
      filed meritless lawsuits against the
      city. By aggressively and successfully             FY 06-07                74            $1,980,271
      defending the city and its employees
      and by relentlessly seeking to recover             FY 07-08                68            $3,328,319
      litigation costs, the litigation section
                                                         FY 08-09                56            $1,487,720
      not only generates revenue for the city
      but also discourages would-be                      FY 09-10                54            $1,028,938
      plaintiffs from filing meritless lawsuits
      against the city.
                                                      1 The table does not include the payout for one case settled
      Continued Litigation Success in all Areas of    in FY 07-08 that was taken over by the City’s excess
      the Law                                         insurance carrier. The case resolved by outside counsel for
                                                      $12,450,000. Of this amount, the City contributed
                                                      $2,000,000.
      As in years past, the litigation section’s
      paramount goal is, and must be, the             Looking Forward 
      successful resolution of lawsuits.
      During fiscal years 2008-2009 and
      2009-2010, the litigation section’s             The litigation section’s goals in fiscal
      commitment to diligent preparation,             year 2010-2011 will be (1) to continue
      careful analysis, and aggressive but            focusing on increased customer
      ethical tactics and strategies yielded          satisfaction through successful
      another period of sustained success.            litigation and (2) to ensure the job
      Over that two year period, the section          satisfaction of the litigation section
      closed 110 lawsuits in which the                attorneys and support staff. Litigation
      plaintiff sought damages, and 75 (68%)          attorneys will maintain and foster the
      of those lawsuits were resolved without         lines of communication with our clients,
      the payment of money by the city.               particularly in cases with complicated
                                                      legal or factual settings. Internally, the
NOTA BENE: Of the 110 damage cases re-
solved during the past two fiscal years, the
Litigation Section successfully resolved 68%
without the payment of money by the city.
      21

       
section’s support staff has had a retreat to             striking him in the head. The case
discuss job satisfaction and efficiency, and             was arbitrated, and the arbitrator
in the next fiscal year the section                      found in favor of the city, as there
attorneys will do the same. By focusing on               was no evidence of any dangerous
job satisfaction and reducing stress, the                condition. Thereafter, plaintiff’s
hope is to the make the section even more                attorney agreed to dismiss the
capable of providing our clients with a                  city.
high level of service while maintaining a
workplace environment that fosters                     Case No. 3: Plaintiff was injured
continued success.                                       while riding his bicycle on a
                                                         transition area between the
Highlights                                               sidewalk and street on westbound
                                                         J Street, sustaining a serious hip
As indicated above, the litigation section               fracture that required surgical
had substantial success in handling its                  repair with titanium rods. His
cases over the last two years, resolving                 medical expenses were $60,000.
68% of damage cases without payment of                   In his lawsuit against the city,
money. This success is the result of                     plaintiff alleged that a raised lip
litigation attorneys aggressively handling               caused him to fall off his bicycle
all cases and rejecting “nuisance”                       and that this area was a
settlements. Here are some notable cases:                dangerous condition of public
                                                         property. Prior to trial, we filed a
        Case No. 1: Plaintiff sustained                motion for summary judgment.
          severe injuries while                          The trial court granted this
          riding in a vehicle in which the driver        motion, ending the case.
          lost control and hit a tree on
          Pocket Road. Plaintiff alleged that          Case No. 4: Plaintiff alleged that
          this area of Pocket Road was                   he was assaulted and falsely
          dangerous because of water from                arrested when two city animal
          median over-spray. Plaintiff’s                 control officers and a police officer
          medical expenses alone were over               removed a dangerous animal from
          $1,000,000. Prior to trial, co-                his property. A non-binding
          defendants (adjacent landowners)               arbitration resulted in a finding
          settled with plaintiff for $60,000.            of no liability against the city.
          Litigation attorneys were able to              Following the arbitration,
          convince plaintiff’s attorney to               plaintiff failed to participate in
          dismiss the dangerous condition                discovery, and the case was
          claim against city in exchange for a           dismissed as a sanction following
          waiver of defense costs.                       the city’s motion to compel that
                                                         participation.
        Case No. 2: Plaintiff was injured
          when the attachment for a tire swing
          in a city park broke,

22
        Case No. 5: Plaintiff sued the city          condition or that there was any way
          and two of its police officers for           to prevent the tree from falling, the
          false arrest and imprisonment,               plaintiff agreed to dismiss his case
          conversion, and civil rights                 for property damage, without
          violations under state and federal           additional compensation, just before
          law. Our aggressive use of pleading          trial was to begin.
          motions resulted in the plaintiff
          having to file four amended                Case No. 8: Plaintiff in this writ
          complaints; it also resulted in the          proceeding was a former employee
          majority of the case being                   who voluntarily absented herself
          dismissed. After taking the                  from work and refused to
          plaintiff’s deposition, the city             participate in fitness-for-duty
          successfully moved for summary               testing upon her return. Plaintiff
          judgment and obtained a sanctions            argued that such testing was
          award against plaintiff for abuses           improper and that the city had a
          of the discovery process. Plaintiff          duty to reinstate her to her prior
          appealed, but the city successfully          position. The superior court and
          opposed his attempts to overturn             Third District Court of Appeals
          the judgment of dismissal.                   agreed with the city, and the
                                                       plaintiff was not reinstated.
        Case No. 6: Plaintiff alleged she
          was wrongfully detained in                 Case No. 9: Appellant was
          violation of the U.S. Constitution           terminated for using his position as
          during the execution of a search             a city employee for personal gain.
          warrant. After taking the plaintiff’s        Litigation attorneys presented the
          deposition, we successfully brought          city’s case against the employee to
          a motion for summary judgment                an arbitrator, who sustained the
          that resulted in the outright                city’s decision to terminate.
          dismissal of the case and a
          judgment for the city.                     Case No. 10: Throughout the year,
           Plaintiff appealed, but the federal         litigation attorneys participate in
           appeals court affirmed the                  the city’s threat assessment team,
           judgment.                                   which evaluates threats of violence
                                                       made against city employees in the
        Case No. 7: Following one of the             work environment. When
          area’s most violent storms, a city           necessary, the attorneys obtain
          tree fell on plaintiff’s property,           restraining orders against those
          causing extensive damage. At the             individuals who are deemed a
          outset of litigation, the city agreed        threat, typically within 48 hours of
          to reimburse the cost of removing            the complaint.
          the tree. Because there was no
          notice that the tree created a
          dangerous


23
        Case No. 11: Plaintiff alleged that        Case No. 14: Plaintiff was involved
          her minor children were injured              in a head-on collision with another
          when police officers used tear gas           vehicle on Garden Highway,
          to force the evacuation of her home.         sustaining multiple severe injuries,
          Litigation attorneys argued that             including a serious brain injury.
          inconsistencies in deposition                Plaintiff sued the city, alleging that
          testimony established that the               the road where this accident
          children were likely not in the              occurred was dangerous in its
          home and that the use of tear gas            design. Damage estimates ranged
          was an appropriate use of force              between $7,000,000 and
          under the circumstances. The city            $12,000,000. Prior to trial,
          prevailed on a motion for summary            litigation attorneys persuaded
          judgment.                                    plaintiff and her attorney to settle
                                                       the case for $350,000.
        Case No. 12: Plaintiff argued that
          he was defamed when his name             Case No. 15: Plaintiff was arrested
          was placed on a press release                in downtown Sacramento for
          following his arrest for sex crimes.         standing in the street, noticeably
          On a motion for summary                      intoxicated. She sued the city and
          judgment, the litigation attorney            the police officers who arrested her,
          argued that the publication was              alleging constitutional violations
          entirely privileged, and the court           primarily based upon a theory of an
          agreed, granting the motion. The             illegal seizure. Litigation attorneys
          court also awarded the city more             steadfastly denied that the conduct
          than $20,000 in attorney’s fees and          of the officers created any liability
          costs.                                       either for them or for the city, and
                                                       took the case to trial. The trial
        Case No. 13: Plaintiff was struck            court granted the city’s and officers’
          by an automobile while crossing a            motions for non-suit after the
          heavily travelled street at night. He        plaintiff presented her evidence.
          alleged that the failure to provide
          street lights and a crosswalk at the       Case No. 16: Plaintiff sued the
          location of his accident created a           city alleging that a power pole
          dangerous condition of public                located in a sidewalk forced her to
          property. After the litigation               walk in the street, where she was
          attorney conducted discovery and             struck by a passing car and
          threatened to file a motion for              suffered serious injuries. During
          summary judgment, the plaintiff              plaintiff’s deposition, the litigation
          voluntarily dismissed the case.              attorney assigned to the case
          Plaintiff’s alleged damages were in          established that the plaintiff had
          excess of $700,000.                          actually been walking on the




24
          opposite side of the street from the         position and waived any future
          allegedly dangerous condition.               claims against the city.
          Plaintiff ultimately agreed to
          dismiss her action against the city        Case No. 19: Plaintiff alleged that
          for a waiver of costs.                       the city was responsible for
                                                       property damage in excess of
        Case No. 17: Plaintiff filed an              $300,000 when two city trees fell
          inverse-condemnation lawsuit                 on his home. Litigation attorneys
          against the city, alleging that the          argued that powerful storm caused
          city had installed a storm-drainage          the trees to fall, rather than some
          system on his property without his           preventable condition of the trees
          permission or knowledge. During              themselves. When the litigation
          discovery, litigation attorneys              attorneys filed a motion for
          established that a private developer         summary judgment, plaintiff
          had installed a drain line adjacent          dismissed the case.
          to plaintiff’s property, and a survey
          conducted by the city confirmed            Case No. 20: Plaintiff was the
          that the drain line did not encroach         subject of a sting operation in
          into plaintiff’s property. Plaintiff         which he sold cigarettes to minors.
          was unable to establish any liability        Plaintiff challenged not only the
          on part of the city and, as a result,        administrative penalty but also
          plaintiff ultimately agreed to               the constitutionality of the city’s
          dismiss the city for a waiver of             tobacco-retailer ordinance. The
          costs.                                       superior court upheld the
                                                       ordinance and administrative
        Case No. 18: A city employee was             hearing procedures, and plaintiff
          terminated from her position                 appealed to the Third District
          because she had engaged in                   Court of Appeal. The appellate
          overtime fraud for almost twelve             court upheld the city’s ordinance
          years. The employee appealed,                and administrative hearing
          arguing that the overtime was                procedures, and its published
          proper and had been approved by              opinion can be used as precedent
          her supervisors. The litigation              in future cases.
          attorney assigned to this matter
          spent hundreds of hours obtaining          Case No. 21: The city contracted
          calendars and other documentation            with a private security firm for
          to establish that the time indicated         patrols of city parking garages.
          on her timesheets did not                    City property was vandalized when
          accurately reflect her hours worked.         the security company lapsed in its
          When faced with this                         patrols. Litigation attorneys filed a
          documentation on cross-                      complaint against the security
          examination during arbitration, the
          employee voluntarily resigned her


25
                firm, and shortly thereafter the city
                entered into a settlement with the      Litigation Clients         2008/   2009/
                company, which put $25,000 back                                    2009    2010
                into the budget for off-street
                parking.                                City Attorney’s Office     6

                                                        City Clerk’s Office        4
              ● Case No. 22: This pro per plaintiff
                filed five actions in federal court,    City Manager               1
                each alleging different facts to
                establish violations of his civil       City Treasurer             1
                rights. The litigation attorney
                                                        Code Enforcement           7       8
                assigned to the case, by aggressively
                using law-and-motion proceedings,       Community Development      1       3
                has obtained judgments for the city
                in all five cases.                      Conv., Culture & Leisure   3       2

                                                        City Council               1       2

                                                        Development Services       1       1
                                                        Economic Development       1

                                                        Finance                    8       2
The litigation section
made this city                                          Fire                       7       3
construction project
possible on                                             General Services           4       2
Meadowview Road by
                                                        Human Resources            9       14
obtaining rights-of-
entry from recalcitrant
                                                        Labor Relations            24      22
property owners who
threatened to delay                                     Neighborhood Services      1       2
city’s replacement of a
patchwork quilt of                                      Parks and Recreation       6       4
decaying fences with
beautiful new block                                     Planning                   1
and stone walls.
                                                        Police                     27      22
                                                        Revenue                            1

                                                        SHRA                       1

                                                        Transportation             23      13

                                                        Utilities                  13      15

                                                        TOTAL                      150     116

         26
                Transactional/Advisory 
                                   The Transactional/Advisory
                                   Section provides counsel and
                                   day-to-day strategic support to
                                   the City's policymaking
                                   function by responding to
                                   requests for legal advice from
                                   the City Council, the Charter
                                   Officers, and the City
                                   departments and divisions

                                   Attorneys:
                                         Angela Casagranda
                                         Joseph Cerullo
                                         Larry Duran
                                         Paul Gale
MATTHEW RUYAK
                                         Sabina Gilbert
Supervising Deputy City Attorney
                                         Jeff Heeren
                                         Jerry Hicks
                                         Sheryl Patterson
                                         Joe Robinson
                                         Janeth San Pedro
                                         Michael Sparks
                                         Lan Wang

                                   Paralegal:
                                         Cindy Head

                                   Legal Secretaries:
                                         Angela Kolak
                                         Dianne Chasteen
                                         Colleen Clay
                                         Angela Kolak
                                         Cleo Morris
                                         Desiree Stockton
                                         Di Walters
                                         Phyllis Zakrajsek

27
Transactional/Advisory 

Overview 

Section 72 of the Sacramento City Charter
states that the City Attorney “shall serve
as legal counsel to the city government
and all officers, departments, boards,
commissions and agencies thereof and
shall have such other powers and duties
as may be prescribed by state law and by        This innovative city “green street” project
ordinance or resolution of the city council.”   combining streetscaping, drainage and
The 13 attorneys of the transactional/          public artwork required a variety of
advisory section discharge this mandate         transactional/advisory counselors on is-
by providing the legal advice, counseling,      sues from public works to art in public
and support the city needs to meet its          places.
multifaceted responsibilities to its citizens
effectively and efficiently; to fulfill its
obligations under federal, state, and local        work alongside city staff to
laws; to carry out the mission and goals             provide timely legal advice on city
established by the city council; and to              projects;
implement the programs of the city                 assist city staff in responding to
manager. For example, the attorneys—                 requests under the California
                                                     Public Records Act;
    respond to requests for legal advice
      from the mayor, city council, charter        conduct forums to educate city
      officers, and city staff;                      staff about laws that affect the
                                                     work they do; and
    draft city ordinances, resolutions, and
      regulations;                                 keep the mayor, city council,
                                                     charter officers, and city staff
    review and comment on proposed                 informed of the ever-changing
      state legislation;                             legal landscape in which they
  negotiate, draft, and review contracts,          operate.
    leases, and other transactional
    documents;                              All of that work requires an impressive
                                            breadth of knowledge and experience.
  advise on financial matters both
                                            Certainly, the city’s legal demands
    straight-forward and complex;
                                            require the Transactional/Advisory
  provide legal representation at the     attorneys to be experts in many
    various legislative and administrative general fields of law, such as contracts,
    meetings of the city council and city   property, statutory interpretation,
    boards and commissions;                 labor, and employment.

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But the city’s status as a local-
government entity also demands
in-depth knowledge of other, more
specialized fields such as constitutional
law; the Ralph M. Brown Act (open
meetings); the California Public Records
Act; the California Political Reform Act;
the California Environmental Quality
Act (CEQA); other environmental laws
such as the federal and state endangered
species acts and the federal and state
laws regulating hazardous waste;
public-finance law; land-use law (e.g.,
general plans, zoning, permits); elections      2030 General Plan
and campaign law; water law;
Intellectual property law; the laws           2008 Update to the North Natomas
concerning taxes, special assessments,            Financing Plan
and fees; and local codes and                 Adoption of the city’s communication
regulations.                                      -users tax

Although the staffing in the                  Funding for an outdoor playground
Transactional/Advisory section has been           at the Boys & Girls Club
remarkably stable over the past three
                                              Charter-boat service in Old
years, one of the two supervising
                                                  Sacramento
attorneys retired in the middle of fiscal
year 2008-2009, leaving the remaining 13      Funding from Sacramento-Yolo
attorneys to continue meeting the city’s          County Mosquito and Vector Control
legal-counseling demands. Their                   District for downtown green-waste
consistent productivity, dedication, and          containerization
professionalism is especially noteworthy
because their complex work is critical to     City’s participation in the Delta-
the proper operation of city government,          Vision process
yet is not readily apparent to the public.    Ongoing water-meter-retrofit project
                                                  (including $20 million ARRA
Highlights                                        Stimulus Funding Agreement)
Projects:
The transactional/advisory attorneys work     Automated water-meter reading
side-by-side with councilmembers, the
                                              Ticket-and-passes distribution policy
city manager’s office, charter officers,
and city department heads and staff on        Update to conflict-of-interest code
many important projects throughout the        Ballot and election issues
city, such as:
                                              Proposition 1C State Infrastructure
    Strong Mayor Initiative advice and          and Brownfield Grants (Railyards
      litigation                                  and Township 9)
29
  Charter reform and review                  Tree-removal appeals
  Issuance of the city’s tax-and-            Solid-waste scavenging
      revenue-anticipation notes               Check-cashing centers

Legislation:                                   Update to title 8 (health and safety)
                                                 of the Sacramento City Code
                                                 relating to dangerous buildings and
Many of the goals and policies of the            housing codes
city council are implemented by the
enactment of new ordinances or the             Curbside recycling collection
amendment of existing ordinances. As
                                               Design-review requirements for
with recent years past, the city council
                                                 East Sacramento
adopted scores of ordinances during
fiscal years 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.          Maintenance of title 17 (zoning) in
The Transactional/Advisory attorneys             the Sacramento City Code
work on a majority of the city’s               Newsracks on K Street Mall
ordinances. Together with NSNA
attorneys, they assist city staff in           Campaign finance
drafting legislation and, when needed, in      Digital billboards
working through the entire process of
developing effective legislation,
including working with stakeholders and
other interested parties. Some of the
more significant issues addressed by
ordinances enacted during fiscal years
2008-2009 and 2009-2010 include the
following:
                                            The construction of the Crocker Art
    Creation of the office of the city    Museum expansion required extensive
      auditor                               legal assistance.
    Recycling of construction and
      demolition debris

    Refunds of parkland-dedication fees
    Establishing development-impact
      fees for Measure A transportation
      improvements for citywide benefit
      district
    Rental-housing-inspection program
                                                           Class of 2011
      – recovery of costs
                                            City Attorney’s Office Summer Law Clerks
    Temporary program for                      Katherine Ebert and Emilio Camacho
      development-fee deferral
                                                    Katerina Deaver (not pictured)
30
     Transactional/Advisory Matters            2008 -     2009 -
                                               2009       2010
     Financing: Assessment District                 11      1
     Financing: Bonds                                7      3
     Financing: Fees                                13      7
     Financing: Lease Financing                     0      6
     Financing: Loans                               6      1
     Financing: Mello Roos Districts                6      4
     Financing: Taxes                               1      1
     General Advice                                301    200
     Appeals/Hearings                               3      2
     Bankruptcy                                     1
     Collections                                           1
     Construction Agreements                        2      2
     Consultant Agreements                          2
     Development Related                           20      18
     Grand Jury Requests/Subpoenas                  4       2
     Interagency Agreements                         6      1
     Labor                                                 1
     Mediation                                       1
     Opinions (formal written)                       19    8
     Ordinances                                     33    30
     PRAs                                          161    162
     Professional Services Agreements               3      5
     Real Estate Agreements                         5       1
     Resolutions                                    3       1
     Review/Advise                                  30     34
     Subpoenas                                     299    297
     Project - City Initiated                      17      7
     Project - Council                               3      5
     Project - Private                              3       6
     Project - Public/Private                       3       4
     Contracts Approved as to Form                1,855   1,631
     Staff Report Review                           607     695
     General Advisory Assignments                 1,895   2,502
                                Grand Totals      5,324   5,638

31
        Inside the CAO 
        City of Sacramento




2010 Public Administrator of the Year

The Sacramento Chapter of the American Society
for Public Administration (ASPA) selected City
Attorney Eileen Teichert as the 2010 Public
Administrator of the Year. The award is presented
to a non-elected professional administrator who
has consistently demonstrated excellence in
public management over a sustained period of
time.

                                              Sr. Deputy City Attorney
                                              Joe Robinson

                                              On July 16, 2010, Senior Deputy City
                                              Attorney Joe Robinson celebrated 20
                                              years with the Sacramento City
                                              Attorney’s Office working in the
                                              areas of water law, public works,
                                              construction, public utility
                                              services, and environmental laws and
                                              regulations.



     Law Day 2010

     On Friday, April 30, 2010, the City Attorney’s
     Office held their first annual Law Day, part of
     a nationwide celebration of the principle of
     government under the rule of law. Depicted is a
     display of 1849 and 1921 City Council minutes
     courtesy of the Center for Sacramento History,
     reflecting the city’s strong governmental law
     heritage.


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                 City Attorney’s Office Culture of Gratitude

Most Supportive Client Awards

Each year the City Attorney’s Office selects a special client who exemplifies the
qualities attorneys respect and appreciate in a client especially
adherence to the rule of law.



 In December 2008, the award was presented to
 the Director of Transportation, Jerry Way.




 City Treasurer Russ Fehr was the recipient of
 the Most Supportive Client award in December
 2009.




 City Attorney’s Office Gives Back

 City Attorney’s Office staff reaches out and gives back to the community through
 generous donations to food drives and those less fortunate. In 2008, the City
 Attorney’s staff adopted two formerly homeless families, fulfilling all of their
 holiday wishes with gifts and monetary contributions. The City Attorney’s staff
 adopted and showered with gifts twenty children
 who had recently moved out of shelters into
 housing, for the 2009 holidays through the
 Sacramento Faith and Families Initiative.




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     Photographs of City Attorney’s
     Office staff were taken by
     Sacramento Police Department
     photographer Doug Skinner.




                                      Office of the City Attorney
                                      915 I Street, Fourth Floor
                                      Sacramento, CA 94814

                                      Mailing Address:
                                      P.O. Box 1948
                                      Sacramento, CA 95814

                                      (916) 808-5346 Ph
                                      (916) 808-7455 Fax


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