Montebello council approves city attorney contract

first_imgThe Montebello City Council has approved a contract for city attorney services with Arnoldo Beltran who will replace interim city attorney John Pringle. At Wednesdays regular meeting, four councilmembers voted in favor of Beltran’s contract while Mayor Norma Lopez-Reid abstained. In a special meeting last week the council had voted to hire Beltran 3-2 but did not have a contract to approve at the time. Voting for Beltran over the other four applicants was a controversial move by Councilman Jeff Siccama one that had surprised and angered many of his supporters. His decision meant stepping away from his usual alignment with Lopez-Reid and Councilman Bob Bagwell and joining the council minority of Rosie Vasquez and Bill Molinari. Before the vote, Lopez-Reid warned the council about “some advice Beltran gave to a council member in another city who is now facing serious charges.” She also warned of Beltrans record in other cities of starting out with low fees but increasing them later. “I just hope (Beltrans) advice will be direct and appropriate,” Lopez-Reid said. “I was told we needed a lot of money for city attorney fees” by approving him. Lopez-Reid was referring to advice Beltran gave to former Bell Gardens Councilwoman Maria Chacon when he was the attorney for that city which resulted in government corruption charges against her. Beltran did not return three calls to his office over the past week. Vasquez said she was not concerned about Beltran’s qualifications or his advice in the Bell Gardens case. “That was seven years ago,” she said. “I havent kept track of Chacon or Beltran. The reason I voted for him is because he has the ability and experience to meet the needs of Montebello.” Siccama said he voted for Beltran because his was a “smaller firm that could provide the services the city needs.” “I don’t think there are any (law) firms out there that have done nothing wrong,” Siccama said. “We all have skeletons in our closets.” Beltran will be paid $5,000 a month for the first 50 hours of service, then $170 an hour. The fee includes attendance at city council and planning commission meetings, part time office hours, any additional basic legal services up to 50 hours and travel time.165Let’s talk business.Catch up on the business news closest to you with our daily newsletter. Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more