Los Angeles wants to know how other cities in the country handle their legal services. One of the questions they want answered is whether the prosecution of misdemeanors should be bifurcated from the other main duty of the city attorney, drafting legislation and representing the city in court.

It is an action that the city is taking over the objections of the city attorney. Claiming that his office has blurred the line between legal opining and political advocacy, the city council will receive a report from the their Chief Legislative Analyst, and then decide how they should best proceed.

The move has drawn new criticisms out of the City Attorney’s office, where claims have been made that it is simply a retaliatory move for the office’s disapproval of a billboard program, and says it is a way to undermine the independency of the city attorney.

From the Los Angeles Times:

Posing a direct challenge to Los Angeles City Atty. Carmen Trutanich, the City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to seek a report on other ways of obtaining legal services at City Hall.

On a 13 to 0 vote, the council asked for an analysis of how other cities across the nation hire their legal teams — and of the possibility of separating the city’s misdemeanor criminal prosecutions from the work of crafting legislation and representing the city in lawsuits.

Read the full article here.