Eley to represent Garcia

Human Resources Director Dianna Garcia said this afternoon that she will be represented by lawyer Chris Eley in her appearance Monday before the City Council committee investigating the firing of Deputy City Manager Johnny Ford. That caused some chuckles at City Hall. Eley opposed Councilwoman Diana Lowery, a panel member, in last year’s election.

 

Garcia said she asked the city to retain Eley because of his familiarity with the City Charter and experience in employment law. Eley is a former attorney for the Civil Service Commission.

 

The committee investigating Ford’s firing – an ad-hoc committee immune from the state’s open-meetings law – issued subpoenas last week to Ford, Garcia, City Manager Gordon Palmer and City Attorney Ren Nosky. It is highly unusual for a city to subpoena members of its own administration (typically a council member who wants to see someone asks). The employees issued subpoenas are entitled to representation at the city’s expense.

 

City Hall has yet to respond to The Record’s week-old California Public Records Act request for copies of the subpoenas. Those documents “would definitely be subject to disclosure,” said James Ewert, a lawyer for the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

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