EXCERPTS OF THE COMMENTS OF WILLIAM W. CARTER, CHIEF DEPUTY,
SUBMITTED TO THE CITY COUNCIL ON FEBRUARY 9, 2010
The Office of the City Attorney and its employees clearly recognize and understand the serious and unprecedented financial challenges facing the City. As such, this Office and its employees have worked hard and sacrificed much over the past year to reduce costs and do increasingly more with fewer resources. These are not platitudes or hollow words. Our success to date in bearing our share of the burden and reducing the City’s deficit is proven and easy to measure. We have successfully done our job, while at the same time dramatically cutting costs and reducing staff from the General Fund.
It is without question and beyond dispute that, as required under the City Charter, the Office of the City Attorney performs vital and essential public safety services and provides financial protection to the City and its citizens.
Our attorneys also protect the City Treasury by fighting in court against frivolous lawsuits. In the past six months alone, our attorneys and their support staff have saved the City almost $100 million in potential damages. Without these victories that were hard-fought and won by attorneys within our Office, the City would be at least $100 million more in debt.
Each month, approximately 30 to 40 claims are submitted to the City for payment, the majority of which are thereafter denied and filed as civil lawsuits. This Office suffered an 18% budget reduction from the 2008/09 budget to the current year budget (2009/10). Our employees have worked hard to meet our budget – as you can clearly see by the cases they have won.
This Office has done its part in reducing costs while protecting public safety and the treasury during these very challenging times. In fact, by June 30, we will meet or surpass the goals set for our Office.