Top Hedgecock Aide Will Become Law Firm Partner

Times Staff Writer

When J. Michael McDade leaves the mayor’s office later this month, Roger Hedgecock’s sometimes tough, sometimes witty, always urbane chief of staff will become a government lobbyist and a partner in a San Diego law firm.

McDade, 45, announced Tuesday he would be joining the firm of Sullivan, Cummins, Wertz, McDade & Roberts.

The firm’s lead partner, Leo Sullivan, has done legal work for Hedgecock over the last year, defending the mayor in the civil suit filed by the Fair Political Practices Commission that alleged campaign reporting violations, as well as defending Hedgecock’s right to solicit contributions of any amount for his legal defense. But McDade said he had discussed the defense fund issue with his new partners and “I made them promise that that would be one thing I would have nothing to do with.”

McDade said he planned to have a general civil practice and to represent people before government agencies, including the City Council. He has said previously that he did not feel this would create any conflict of interest and that he expected Hedgecock to be tougher on him than other advocates.


McDade, who has been a member of Hedgecock’s staff since May 9, 1983, plans to leave that job May 31 and take a five-week vacation before joining the law firm on July 1. He said he would continue to advise Hedgecock on city issues and assist with the mayor’s defense during his criminal retrial on charges of campaign law violations.

Prior to going to work for the mayor, McDade was in private practice in El Cajon, where he specialized in real estate and construction law.