Why Politics Shouldn’t Be in the LA City Lawyer Race

To the editor: It is unfortunate that the Times has fallen into the trap of analyzing Los Angeles city attorney candidates using irrelevant attributes, even if they are the ones being emphasized by the candidates themselves.

Having practiced municipal law for over 40 years and having served as a municipal attorney in several cities in Southern California, I can say that the most important criteria for the job are these: the ability to work with board members and staff, regardless of your policy or personal quirks; knowledge and willingness to advise these individuals on the statutory and constitutional limits of their proposed actions; and the ability to organize workflow and supervise staff in the city attorney’s own office.

Political affiliation, poor childhood, success in winning lawsuits or prosecuting crimes, or even stupid comments (if made decades ago) say nothing about whether the candidate meets any of these criteria.

Stephanie Scher, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Who in The Times determined the “Two Top Candidates” for City Attorney?

Both are “former Republicans” who conveniently now identify as Democrats. One ran unsuccessfully for office in Virginia and Vermont; the other hosted a right-wing talk show on local AM radio. Each seems to be following Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s campaign manual of pretending to be what you’re not.

The top candidates should be those with consistent political views and a commitment to public service.

Eric Carlson, Los Angeles

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