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BELL GARDENS : City Council Selects 2 to Head Legal Staff

For the third time in two years, the City Council has appointed a new city attorney.

J. Arnoldo Beltran, a 15-year real estate attorney, was named last week to replace Mike Estrada, who served as the city’s top legal adviser for just over a year. Francisco Leal, Commerce city attorney, was named assistant city attorney.

Beltran and Leal, partners in the Los Angeles law firm Beltran & Leal, will handle all of the city’s legal matters.

Beltran and Leal will be paid $7,000 a month for a maximum of 60 hours. Any additional time would cost the city $100 an hour, said Karen Nobrega, assistant city manager.

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Mayor Maria S. Chacon declined to comment about the change in city attorneys. City officials did not disclose why Estrada’s contract was terminated.

“I was not provided with a reason by the council” for the termination, said Estrada, who added that under his contract the city had the option to terminate him at any time.


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