SA City Attorney and his ‘Selective Conflict Disorder’

Claudia Alvarez

On Saturday morning I was surprised to find that I had an email from Santa Ana City Attorney Joseph Fletcher sitting in my in-box when I opened my email.

Mr. Prevatt:

It has been brought to my attention that you posted a story on Thursday Sept 30 reporting that I had referred review of votes by Mayor Pro Tem Alvarez to the OC District Attorney’s Office. 

Your report erroneous. I have not referred review of her vote on One Broadway Plaza, or any other vote by her to the DA. I have not referred any other votes on One Broadway Plaza for that matter.  My Office reviewed campaign contributions in relation to the July 19 and August 2 votes amending the One Broadway Plaza development agreement and found that there were no contributors over $250 who were impacted by the vote.

I would great appreciate a prompt correction for the benefit of Ms. Alvarez.

Joseph W. Fletcher
City Attorney
City of Santa Ana

It seems that my post had managed to roust Fletcher out of bed on a Saturday morning to run cover for an irrate Mayor Pro Tem Alvarez. I have to admit, I was a bit confused. I had been told by the DA’s office that matters related to possible improper votes by council members had been referred to the District Attorney for review because the City Attorney, Fletcher, had declared a conflict. One would think that a conflict of interest does naturally exist when a City Attorney is faced with possible improper acts by his supervisors. Add to the the fact the council is in the middle of his performance review, prudence on the part of any attorney would have him declare a conflict a conflict on all the matters related to these concerns.

Seems I was wrong. When it comes to votes by councilmembers on a multi-million dollar project, where members without whose votes the measure would not have passed, in his opinion there is not a conflict preventing his review.


Fletcher must be suffering from the new virus that causes Selective Conflict Disorder. It is spread in an intense ‘pay to play’ environment, usually when campaign contributions are needed around election time and projects  or initiatives need to move forward. It is usually contracted through face to face contact between city attorneys and council members once improper votes are discovered.

The symptoms present themselves when a city attorney jumps through tiny hoops like a circus poodle allowing council members to escape scrutiny for their actions. In many cases it involves the city attorney making a bogus declaration that there is no conflict of interest on on the part of the subject council actions, while disregarding his own personal conflicts of interest. While this disease has been present for a long time, it has only recently become noticable because of the scandal in the City of Bell.

I have to wonder if Fletcher experienced the same disorder regarding the City Manager’s golden buyout provision in his contract revealed today by The Voice of OC.

  3 comments for “SA City Attorney and his ‘Selective Conflict Disorder’

  1. October 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    I wonder what kind of severance package the SA city attorney has? Is it as lucrative as the CM? Perhaps Santa Ana residents need to see a full listing of executives managers and their salaries. Oh, wait. That already happened, didn’t it? Mike Harrah must have told them it was OK, not to worry and to go back to sleep.

  2. jose s.
    October 4, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    prevatt, you should post a picture of fletcher for all to see. i’m glad somebody is shining a light on this cockroach that has damaged this city for far too long.

  3. junior
    October 4, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Fletcher’s “Selective conflict disorder” just became significantly more accute.

    At tonights (Monday) SA council meeting he apparently convinced Tinajero that he did not have a conflict concerning Tinny’s acceptance of a contribution from Voit company which did benefit from Tinnys’ vote to approve the Station District.

    Fletcher’s malady is getting worse.

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