Council members want city attorney to resign

General Counsel Cindy Laquidara gives her side of story

By Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville General Counsel Cindy Laquidara responded Tuesday to allegations she caters to Mayor Alvin Brown's office more than she does to City Council.

"The mayor runs the government day to day, thousands of employees," she said. "The council maybe has 50. So you spend more time running the city, but attorneys are obligated to zealously represent any client. That's what I do. That's what I love."

Laquidara's response came just minutes after a meeting with several council members who are requesting the city attorney resign.

"We can't fire her, but there's a certain sense of confidence and perception of confidence from the General Counsel, and that's what we are trying to get," councilman Matt Schellenberg said.

Schellenberg called the meeting and released a draft resolution saying Laquidara (pictured, right) has given "patently bad advice" to the council and should be replaced.

He's referring to a letter sent to the Jaguars saying the team defaulted on its lease, which was in error, and Laquidara's input on the the city pension controversy.

"Our current General Counsel has been involved personally in issues that put the administration and the council at opposite sides," council President Bill Bishop said.

Bishop said it's not a matter of Laquidara's competency but instead an issue of the council's confidence in her advice. Several council members and concerned taxpayers also said a change in the city charter may be their next step.

"I have serious concerns about the process of how Cindy Laquidara came into office," said John Winkler, of Concerned Taxpayers of Duval County.

"I think what was accomplished today was simply making the point that we are unhappy and uncomfortable with the current situation," Bishop said.

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