Andre de Bortnowsky
Split commission may oust Victorville’s de Bortnowsky over conflict of interest concerns
April 21, 2011 3:49 PM
He’s been their attorney for 20 years, since representatives from each local city formed the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority to help redevelop the area surrounding shuttered George Air Force Base.
But three out of five VVEDA commissioners voted this week to consider replacing Andre de Bortnowsky, concerned over a potential conflict of interest since he also serves as attorney for the city of Victorville.
“They are your major client and I would expect you to take care of your major client,” Hesperia Mayor Pro Tem Russ Blewett said to de Bortnowsky during VVEDA’s Wednesday night special meeting.
Blewett first requested that VVEDA put out a request for qualifications on a new attorney during the agency’s March 16 meeting, saying he considered it an “incredible conflict” for Victorville’s attorney to represent the best interests of the city and the regional group at the same time.
While Brad Mitzelfelt, 1st District Supervisor for San Bernardino County and VVEDA’s chair, said he isn’t certain whether there’s a legal conflict of interest, he said there’s certainly a perception of one — a problem Apple Valley Councilman Curt Emick echoed.
“I think it’s going to be a tremendous task to find any law firm that doesn’t have any sort of conflict with a member jurisdiction sitting around this table,” Victorville Mayor Ryan McEachron objected. McEachron also cited concern over how much it will cost to hire a new attorney and pay them to get up to speed on all of the complicated issues facing the agency.
For more about VVEDA’s legal services, read the full story in Friday’s Daily Press. Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.
Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.