It's been revealed that he's gotten personal legal advice courtesy of city taxpayers. Now it's also come to light that deputy San Diego city manager Bruce Herring, who has for years served as a loyal soldier, stonewalling those who dared inquire about the financial foibles of mayors from Maureen O'Connor (Russian Arts Festival) to Susan Golding (1996 GOP convention, Chargers' Qualcomm-stadium expansion) to Dick Murphy (Padres ballpark, new Chargers stadium, pension debacle), is looking for an exit strategy. According to a letter sent to him two weeks ago by the city's ethics commission, Herring has been seeking "advice concerning the application of post-employment restrictions to 'terminal' employees." The rule against employees taking jobs with private companies doing business with the city for 12 months after they leave city hall are, according to the letter, "designed to prevent former City Officials from 'switching sides' after they leave the City and working against the City's interests for a private company concerning a pending municipal decision." Thus, Herring has to wait on any city-related private gigs, the letter said, even if he uses some of his "terminal leave" or unused vacation time to bug out of his city job before he actually leaves the payroll. "Because employees who take terminal annual leave are entitled to accept new employment while they are on terminal leave, it follows that the post-employment restrictions must apply." But if Herring gets a job with another public agency, the letter said, he won't have to worry about those conflict-of-interest rules.