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News Posted on August 2, 2010

Professor Perschbacher Comments on Bell Controversy for LA Times

Professor Rex Perschbacher commented for the Los Angeles Times on the role of the city attorney in approving lavish salaries for top administrators in Bell, California.  Administrators in the small Los Angeles suburb were paid some of the highest salaries for their positions in the nation, sparking a controversy and calls for reform.

Professor Perschbacher, who has published extensively on issues of legal ethics, explained that the city attorney's role in the salary scandal is complicated.  Once the city council has been properly advised and the salaries are approved, the city attorney has little choice but to either implement them or resign, he said.

"The city attorney's responsibilities are to the people of the city, as represented by the City Council," he said. "There is always a conflict. Am I doing the right thing by the people, or am I doing what the City Council wants... It puts the city attorney in a real tough bind."

Professor Rex Perschbacher was Dean of the Law School from 1998 to 2008, and before that served as Associate Dean from 1993-1998. He has taught at UC Davis since 1981 with an emphasis on the areas of Civil Procedure, Professional Responsibility, and clinical teaching. He received the law school's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992, and a Special Citation Affirmative Action and Diversity Achievement Award in 2001.

Los Angeles Times article