Legal News - War Escalates Between LA City Attorney And Controller

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Los Angeles' city attorney and city controller are at war. City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo sued Controller Laura Chick in Superior Court, claiming the controller does not have the right to audit Delgadillo's office, or the mayor's office, or "any other elected city offices."

Chick wants to audit the City Attorney's handling of workers compensation lawsuits. Delgadillo claims the City Charter does not authorize the Controller to audit "any other elected city offices."

The tiff started this year when the City Council and the Controller asked Delgadillo's office whether the Controller can "compel the Office of the elected City Mayor to submit to a performance review of his management of the City's anti-gang programs," according to the Superior Court complaint.

Delgadillo said no.

Then, according to this lawsuit, "The Controller responded by publicly announcing that she would 'challenge' the City attorney's legal opinion 'on a separate day.'

"The Controller acted on her challenge - not by seeking a judicial review of Formal Opinion No. 2008:2 - but, instead, by seeking to compel a performance review of the Office of the City Attorney."

Delgadillo's lawsuit continues: "The Controller has gone so far as to cause an unlawful subpoena to be issued, knowing that failure to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena may be prosecuted criminally. Thirty minutes after the subpoena was issued, the Controller held a press conference to announce the issuance of the subpoena."Delgadillo's 39-page lawsuit pits the City of Los Angeles against the Los Angeles City Controller. He demands "that this Court enjoin the Controller from wasting any City resources that impermissibly seek to compel any performance audit of any elected office, including a program administered by an elected office."

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