By CORY BRIGGS | City attorney candidate
Since 2002, I’ve been fighting for the taxpayers of San Diego — working hard to protect their interests against the insider power brokers who’ve dominated City Hall for decades.
Always the taxpayer advocate, I’ve spent my entire career standing up to the donor class who’ve made lucrative deals at taxpayer expense.
If elected as San Diego’s next city attorney, I’ll bring my energy and experience from those battles and put it to work for taxpayers from the inside.
One of the reasons City Hall has racked up so many legal failures over the years is the City Attorney’s Office has been run as a political shop looking out for its leaders’ personal agendas, not as a non-political law firm.
I will change that.
Cory Briggs for City Attorney 2020 is a campaign about getting politics out of the City Attorney’s Office and reforming it to function as a law firm that does nothing more than provide top-notch legal advice to the mayor and City Council as they work to serve their constituents.
What would a non-political City Attorney’s Office look like? Here are just a few examples:
- No more attempts to gut the California Public Records Act and prevent the public from getting information from the government. If I am city attorney, you will see the city’s compliance with disclosure laws improve significantly.
- No more leaks of criminal complaints of child abuse by city contractors to tip off their lawyer before law enforcement has a chance to investigate. If I am city attorney, cooperation with law enforcement will be above reproach.
- No more lawsuits against voters to prevent them from weighing in on decisions like the future of the Qualcomm Stadium site in Mission Valley. If I am city attorney, you won’t see the office waging court battles against the voters. You will see voter-approved initiatives vigorously and tirelessly defended.
- No more criminalizing the homeless population. If I am city attorney, you will see the office providing solid, proactive legal advice that helps the nayor and City Council implement solutions that help people get off the streets while simultaneously reducing crime.
- And, the city attorney would not solicit political endorsements and donations from litigants while they are suing the city. If ever there is potential for a conflict of interest while I’m the city attorney, it will be avoided altogether, or the office will step aside so that the mayor and City Council can bring in outside counsel.
With the right leadership, the City Attorney’s Office plays a vital role in protecting the public’s interest and San Diegans’ quality of life. It can do this by ensuring that government officials operate within the boundaries of the law. Competent, unbiased, non-political legal advice for the mayor and City Council is therefore essential.
Bad legal advice from the current city attorney has cost San Diego taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and contributed to a deterioration in our neighborhoods’ quality of life.
While the City Council and mayor will be my client’s decision-makers — and I will protect their interests as the public’s representatives every step of the way — my advice to them will always be influenced, first and foremost, by the oath I took as a lawyer to uphold the rule of law. That means giving honest, informed, fully transparent legal advice free of taint from any political agenda.
I will also set a new standard for transparency in the City Attorney’s Office. Except in those few instances when the law requires that my advice be given confidentially, the advice I give to the mayor and City Council will be public so that I, too, can be held fully accountable for the work I do on the public’s behalf. This way the public will be confident that the policy-makers are getting solid legal advice.
In closing, I’m running both to restore the role of the City Attorney’s Office to giving straight-up, non-political legal advice to the mayor and City Council so they can do what’s in their constituents’ best interests; and overall to improve the public’s confidence in government.
I’ve done my best to protect taxpayers from outside City Hall. It’s now time for me to give San Diegans my best efforts from inside.
— Cory Briggs has been representing taxpayers in San Diego since 2002 when he opened Briggs Law Firm. He is now running to be San Diego’s next city attorney.