Monday, November 30, 2015

The Growing Controversies of Arnold Alvarez-Glasman

The Huntington Park, CA City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman is a figurehead for controversy.

The reporting I have located on this guy is deeply disturbing. Why would any city council hire this guy?

From April 2011, during Glasman's tenure with Montebello, CA:

Attina has a long-standing friendship with City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman, who signed off on the deal originally and then led the recent investigation into the account's origins.

Alvarez-Glasman has said his friendship with Attina doesn't affect his decision-making as a public official.

"The bottom line is (Alvarez-Glasman) doesn't vote (as a councilman)," Attina said last month. "If I'm doing something legal why should I care a friend of mine looks at it? I'm not benefiting from it, and he's not benefiting from me."

The Pasadena Star-News reported on concerns about Glasman's investigation into Montebello's off-the-account books:

City Attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman led an investigation of an off-books $1 million bank account tied to his friend and former client, developer Hank Attina.

Mayor Art Barajas tapped Alvarez-Glasman to investigate the $1-million Union Bank account discovered in February. Funds in the account were wired in November 2000 as a city subsidy to Attina, a developer who was building a restaurant at Montebello Town Square, according to bank records.

Alvarez-Glasman said he didn't know money in the account was used for Attina's project until the bank provided documentation.

"I've been the one most aggressive in attempting to get to the bottom of that account," he said. "Friendships aside I have an ethical, legal obligation to my client. My client's interests will always come first."

Sure you have, Arnie. Sure you have. . .

While this mired controversy gained traction and attention in the local press, Glasman acted homely and welcoming with one of his municipal clients in Napa Valley:

Arnold Alvarez-Glasman is the town attorney for Yountville, but he lives in Southern California, hundreds of miles from Yountville and wine country.

Has the city of Yountville hired illegals or appointed them to city commissions?

The idea of a town attorney who doesn’t live in town, or anywhere near Napa County, might surprise some people, but according to Alvarez-Glasman, the arrangement is actually common.

“Most cities and towns don’t have in-house counsel,” Alvarez-Glasman said. “They contract with a law firm. It gives them a great opportunity to meet their legal needs.

Granted, cities do hire attorneys from private firms, but an attorney who leaves seven hours away in Southern California? Why does this arrangement persist? It seems very strange that any city would settle for legal counsel which has to commute by plane to arrive at city council chambers.

Alvarez-Glasman is also a managing partner of Alvarez-Glasman & Colvin. Besides private sector clients, the legal firm also represents five other cities in Southern California: Pomona, Montebello, West Covina, Bell Gardens and Pico Rivera.

Not anymore. More info to follow.

One statement from his interview deserves more scrutiny:

Are there any misconceptions about your job?

One misconception is that as the lawyer for a town, people believe you make policy. As the lawyers, we don’t make the policy. You carry out your clients’ wishes and your clients define the policy for the town.

Yet even a city attorney is expected to uphold the rule of law. He has no business informing any city government that they have the right to flout federal, state, and even municipal codes to appoint two illegal aliens to city commissions. This lack of responsibility from the city attorney should ward off any further support for him representing the city. "I am just doing what my client tells me to." Even seasoned attorneys know their limits on such measures.

Huntington Park, CA City Attorney
Arnold Alvarez-Glasman

The 2011 interview mentioned that West Covina had hired him. They ended up firing him:

Alvarez-Glasman received a 30-day notice that his contract would end at Monday’s meeting, but the council will vote Tuesday to bring him on a special counsel while it wraps up some of the cases he has worked on for years, according to Councilman Mike Spence.

“I wish it was easy to get out of every case that we’re in, but it is my understanding that the new city attorney is going to evaluate all the cases and where it makes sense for Glasman to wrap it up, I think that’s what the plan is,” Spence said.

Perhaps his questionable relationship with one of the Montebello city council members hurt his chances with West Covina.

In other strange human resources shuffle, the Central West Basin Municipal Water District hired Glasman back, even though they had fired him before:

Controversial attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman, who was fired more than a year ago as the lawyer for Central Basin Municipal Water District, was rehired Thursday on a 3-1 vote of the board of directors as its interim attorney.

Say what? More controversy ensued three months later:

A complaint to the state bar seeks an investigation into Central Basin Municipal Water District’s hiring of attorney Arnold Alvarez-Glasman as legal counsel to the district, according to documents obtained by this news organization.

The complaint alleges Alvarez-Glasman has numerous conflicts of interest due to his representation of two district board members and a former employee who has a complaint and lawsuit pending against the district.

It also claims that the process the district used to hire Alvarez-Glasman was a violation of the Brown Act, and that Alvarez-Glasman has overbilled the district in the past.

One comunity activist, blasted Glasman's hiring outright:

Raul Murga, a Pico Rivera resident and longtime community activist, said Alvarez-Glasman should not have been considered for the position in the first place due to conflicts of interest.
“His affiliation with (former Pico Rivera city manager and district general manager) Chuck Fuentes and (former Pico Rivera city councilman and district assistant manager) Ron Beilke, and him being city attorney of Pico Rivera would definitely be a conflict of interest,” said Murga. “I don’t even see how they could consider him for the position.”

Final Reflections

Glasman has been under fire for conflicts of interest, has been fired and rehired,and now represents a corrupt city in Southeastern Los Angeles County, where the city council decided to appoint two illegals to city commissions, and he has tacitly supported this violation of federal and state law, as well as municipal codes, and the Brown Act.

It's time for every city in LA County and throughout the state of California to tell Arnold Alvarez-Glasman: "You're Fired!"

1 comment:

  1. Interesting to see such a bias an inaccurate article with so many spelling errors. I am curious as to see where you got your information because I can assure you 85% of this article is outright wrong. No wonder you cited no sources...