A move to have recently elected Councilman John Mamaux switch hats and assume Carlsbad's top administrative post, which is being vacated by retiring City Manager Frank Aleshire, has been aborted after less than a day of discussion.

Mayor Claude (Buddy) Lewis recently approached his council colleague to broach the idea and Mamaux, who was forced out as Carlsbad city manager nearly two decades ago, said he was interested in the job.

During a closed session Tuesday, the council began discussing the possibility of hiring Mamaux, according to a council member who asked to not be identified.

Assistant City Atty. Ron Ball, however, advised the group that it might be treading on touchy legal ground.

Ball pointed specifically to a state law forbidding public officials from discussing a job or contract that would benefit a colleague. In addition, a city ordinance prohibits the hiring of a council member as city attorney or city manager until he has been out of office a year.

Faced with the necessity of resigning his council spot before holding contract talks, Mamaux decided Wednesday to pull his hat from the ring, city officials said. He could not be reached for comment.

Mamaux was forced to resign as Carlsbad city manager in 1967 after getting into a fight in a bar. Since then, he has made a political comeback in the city, serving as a school board member for several years before winning a spot on the council last November.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World