Letters to the Editor: A city attorney just needs to be really good at the job. Politics don’t matter

The candidates for Los Angeles city attorney participate in a forum at Cal State Los Angeles on April 27.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

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

Having practiced municipal law for more than 40 years, and having served as the city attorney for a number of Southern California cities, I can tell you that the most important criteria for the job are these: the ability to work with council members and staff regardless of their politics or personal quirks; knowledge of and willingness to advise those individuals about the statutory and constitutional limits on their proposed actions; and the ability to organize workflow and oversee personnel in the city attorney’s own office.

Political affiliation, an impoverished childhood, success in winning lawsuits or prosecuting crimes or even stupid comments (if made decades ago) do not tell you anything about whether the candidate meets any of those criteria.


Stephanie Scher, Los Angeles


To the editor: Who at 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-leaning talk show on local AM radio. Each seems to be following Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s campaign playbook of pretending to be what you are not.

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

Eric Carlson, Los Angeles