Removing Chief Corporation Counsel Not a Vindictive Action by Board
A Call to County Executive Chris Abele to Begin Working Toward the Next Budget.
Supervisor Patricia Jursik today issued the following statement regarding the firing of Corporation Counsel:
“An attorney’s oath exists to protect the client. Any attorney worth their mettle, upon receiving notification that a super majority of the legislative branch was calling for their removal, would resign. If a client loses faith in their right to an attorney that is a “zealous advocate on behalf of a client” (SCR 20, Preamble to RULES OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT FOR ATTORNEYS), would resign forthwith. The lawyer’s regard for the client would require self-removal.
“No reason is needed by the Board to remove the Chief Corporation Counsel. Anyone actually paying attention to the meetings of the legislative branch would have had ample notice of the board’s dissatisfaction with advice of counsel. Link.
“Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Supervisor Theodore Lipscomb Sr., informing Chief Corporation Counsel that 13 Supervisors had authored a resolution for removal, was a courtesy. The decent response of a professional would have been to resign. Once the Chief Corporation Counsel responded by raising unfounded issues of sexism and racism focusing on herself instead of the client’s representation, she created an issue of liability for the county. She was also being unprofessional because she failed to focus on the needs of the client, i.e., the county. As a direct result of these comments, the legislative branch became concerned about making any record during the vote on the removal resolution resulting in ‘calling the question’ without making a record.
“I understand the community’s reaction in wanting to know a reason for the board’s action. The board is damned if they do (allow debate and create a record of some alleged legal liability) and damned if they don’t (no record to permit the pundits to fill the vacuum). Let at least one legislator state this for the record: The action to remove Chief Corporation Counsel was neither vindictive nor related to Act 14. Believing 13 Supervisors all acted in unison to be vindictive, one must also believe in every conspiracy theory that has been floated for the last twelve months.
“The fact that Chief Corporation Counsel is now lobbying for her position by having supporters call on supervisors illustrates once again that she is a political operative, not counsel for the board or even the county as a whole. Chief among the board’s complaint has been the conflict of interest exhibited by Chief Corporation Counsel, if in fact, a reason must be given. I call on the County Executive to respect the Board’s position, put his veto pen away, and begin working with this board as a new budget season is beginning. There is much work to do!”
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