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On June 21, city councilmembers will consider appropriating $250,000 to the Brown Law Group to represent the City in a lawsuit filed by former deputy director of the Economic Development Division, Scott Kessler.

If approved, the total cost of legal fees will amount to $450,000 since Kessler filed his wrongful termination lawsuit in 2009.

In his lawsuit, which Don Bauder covered in a May 2010 article, Kessler claims the City retaliated against him after he cooperated with the FBI and police department in a criminal investigation of Marco Li Mandri, then executive director of the Little Italy Business Improvement District.

At the time, allegations of conflict of interest surrounded Li Mandri after the nonprofit business improvement district that he was in charge of awarded city contracts to his for-profit company, New City America.

After a lengthy criminal investigation, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis' office received the alleged "bribery and attempted extortion scheme" but decided to not pursue the case.

Shortly after, the City terminated Kessler as part of a "managerial reorganization" effort.

The City expects the case will go to trial in the coming months.


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JustWondering June 16, 2011 @ 2:24 p.m.

In for a penny....now in for pound... just wondering how much this will really cost the taxpayers over time.


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