April 21, 2011 5:45 PM
Victorville is calling for the regional wastewater authority to hire a new attorney, citing conflict of interest concerns.
Mayor Pro Tem Rudy Cabriales presented the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority board with a letter during Thursday’s meeting from Mayor Ryan McEachron, asking the agency to advertise for legal services.
Best, Best & Krieger attorney Piero Dallarda currently represents VVWRA, which is a joint agency between every local city. Dallarda’s firm has also represented the city of Victorville on some occasions and represents the town of Apple Valley, with Dallarda personally involved in helping Apple Valley settle a water rights suit.
The request to oust Dallarda came in reaction to a vote Wednesday night by the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority to consider dumping agency attorney Andre de Bortnowsky, with Hesperia, Apple Valley and San Bernardino County representatives citing conflict concerns since he serves as Victorville’s city attorney. That move passed on a split vote, over opposition from McEachron and Adelanto’s representative.
The VVWRA board refused Cabriales’ request to add the issue as an urgency item Thursday morning. However, Cabriales said he intends to agendize a future vote asking the agency to advertise for a new attorney.
Victorville Councilman Mike Rothschild raised conflict of interest concerns regarding Best, Best & Krieger during Tuesday’s Council meeting, accusing the firm of having helped Councilwoman Angela Valles draft letters that cite case law and ask questions about a number of serious city issues.
Valles, who is VVWRA’s director of finance, denied she had help from BB&K in drafting her letters, stating that, as a certified paralegal with a Master’s degree, she’s capable of looking up case law herself.
Dallarda told the Daily Press that neither he nor anyone else from his firm to his knowledge played any role in assisting Valles with the letters in question, or with anything else related to her role on the Victorville Council.
Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.
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