Up until December, 2010 the $105,000 City Attorney Retainer Fee was allocated on the budget under '20-01 Attorney Services'. In January, 2011 the accounting code for the City Attorney Retainer was changed from 101-1220-413.20-01 'Attorney Services' to 20-02 'Other Services'.
The FYE 06/30/11 Budgetary Comparison Statement on pg 13 shows the expenditures for City Attorneys listed at $242,444. The actual checks for 07/01/10 – 06/30/11 is $407,311.01 for the law firm of Mcdougal Love Eckis alone. An additional $99,491.85 in attorney fees were spent with Kane Ballmer Berkman and $3,566.74 with Opper & Varco LLP totaling $510,369.60 FYE 06/30/11. That is a material misstatement of $267, 925.
Page 42 on the 2011-2013 Budget the City of Imperial Beach lists the budgeted costs of the City Attorney as follows:
413.20-01 ATTORNEY SERVICES $105,000
413.20-02 ATTORNEY SERVICES -OTHER $100,000
413.21-04 TECHNICAL SERVICES $ 0
TOTAL ATTORNEY SERVICES $205,000
As of 05/31/12 the total attorney fees for the current fiscal year are $510,369.60. The City Attorney's law firm Mcdougal, Love, Eckis has been paid $407,311.01; the law firm of Kan, Ballmer, Berkman has been paid $99,491.85 and the law firm of Opper & Varco LLP has been paid $3,566.74.
A total of $95,292.63 has been charge to the 413.20-01 account; $82,270.00 charged to 413.20-02 account; and $85,156.28 charged to 413.21-04. The remaining $ 325,048.57 is scattered in 14 other accounts – 8 of which can not be tracked to the Budget.
The checks from McDougal, Love, Eckis no longer show a detailed memo on the Check Register; only 'month/year' and 'retainer' is noted. Check # 79946 issued 02/09/12 lists the charges as follows
101-1220-413.20-02 $8,277.00 DEC 2011 MONTHLY RETAINER
405-1260-513.20-06 $4,987.36 GENERAL MISC
405-1260-513.20-06 $7,947.73 SOUTHBAY DRUGS
405-1260-513.20-06 $664.70 GOODWILL INDUSTRIES
101-1220-413.20-01 $749.87 CODE ENFORCEMENT
101-1220-413.21-04 $606.90 PITCHES MOTION
101-1220-413.21-04 $779.09 SPECIAL PROJECTS
502-1922-419.20-01 $404.60 GENERAL TORT CLAIMS
101-1220-413.21-04 $7,333.83 PERSONAL INVESTIGATON
101-1220-413.20-01 $2,006.37 GARZA V CITY OF IB
The check register for 08/20/10 and 09/17/10 show the allocations to the City Attorney. Most of the invoices are related to RDA activity. Code Compliance is charged $1,541.43 on ck # 71558 & 1,177.47 on ck # 71737, however pg 62 of the Budget shows no allocation of attorney services to Code Compliance.
The City refused to disclose the receipts of the City Attorney in the following statement: “As permitted under the Public Records Act, the receipts or invoices for the checks listed below are not subject to disclosure as they relate to attorney-client privilege [Government Code Section and Evidence Code Section 952] and attorney work product privilege [Code of Civil Procedure 2018.010 et seq.].”
Our City Officials and City Attorney are suppose to be representing the best interests of Imperial Beach and should not be engaged in activity so clandestine that payments are hidden and invoices can not be produced. Our City Officials and Counsel Members have conspired to circumvent disclosure of wages and AB26. They are knowingly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, violating GAAP, and falsifying public documents to hide their illegal activity.