On October 25, 2013, the City of Glendale received confirmation that the California Attorney General denied the request of two Glendale residents for authorization to bring suit to challenge Councilmember Frank Quintero’s eligibility to serve on Council. Residents John Rando and Mariano Rodas argued that Councilmember Quintero’s appointment to the City Council violated the City Charter, citing Article VI, Section 12: “No former councilmember shall hold any compensated city office or city employment until two years after leaving the office of councilmember.” Their request was submitted for review in May of 2013.
Councilmember Quintero was appointed to the Council seat vacated by Rafi Manoukian when he was elected as City Treasurer. On April 23, 2013, the remaining members of Council unanimously voted to appoint Mr. Quintero, who had not run for re-election in the April 2013 election, to the vacant Council position.
Rando and Rodas unsuccessfully argued that the City Charter prohibited Councilmember Quintero’s appointment. The Attorney General disagreed, noting that the right to hold public office is a fundamental right and that the provision is not intended to prohibit former Councilmembers from holding elective office in the two-year period after coming off Council. Rather, the Attorney General concluded, as the City had, that “the provision was aimed at preventing a Council member from improperly using his office to gain non-elective City employment.”
The California Attorney General’s office concluded that it did “not consider the [legal] question to be a close one” and agreed with the City of Glendale that the public interest is best served by denying the request to sue. The Attorney General’s opinion ends the matter, and ensures that the City does not have to expend valuable time and resources to defend an unmeritorious lawsuit. Councilmember Frank Quintero’s will serve on the City Council until June 2014, at which time a special election will be held to fill that seat.
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