Assemblyman: Is Legislature’s contract with former U.S. Attorney General legal?

While the Legislature’s hiring of former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder made headlines on Thursday, the move may violate the state Constitution, according to an California assemblyman.

Assemblyman Kevin Kiley, a Rocklin Republican, asked the California attorney general’s office on Friday whether Holder’s hiring for outside legal work in an impending battle with the incoming Trump administration violates a constitutional clause protecting against cronyism. 

“California courts have interpreted the civil service mandate of article VII of forbidding private contracting for services that are of a kind that persons selected through civil service could perform ‘adequately and competently,'” Kiley wrote, adding that there are almost 1,600 attorneys and support staff in the Legal Services Division of the state’s AG office.

Speaker Anthony Rendon, D-Paramount, and Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, announced on Thursday they’d decided to contract with Holder’s law firm, Convington & Burling, for three months, at $25,000 per month. 

The hiring of Covington & Burling was another move in an ongoing effort to bolster the state’s defenses against the perceived threat of the incoming Trump administration in areas of immigration, health care and the environment. Kiley argued that defending the state against the federal government is traditionally the role of the state AG. 

“In light of these facts, I respectfully ask your legal opinion as to whether the 1,592 attorneys and legal staff at the State Attorney General’s Office can perform ‘adequately and competently’ the legal services for which Covington & Burling has been retained by the Legislature,” Kiley wrote.



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  1. afrequentreader
    afrequentreader 6 January, 2017, 23:48

    a flood of calls could tip the scales in this? It may make a diff…a high probability of failure unless the lines are saturated.

    Reply this comment
  2. JPR11
    JPR11 7 January, 2017, 10:05

    How “Over the Top can you get? The election is Over! Sac is considering another increase in the gas tax, which is already the highest in the country, to fill Pot Holes. So paying the worst and most politicized Fed AJ has priority over Pot Holes. Sounds like the legislatorsares back in session.

    Reply this comment
  3. Mike
    Mike 7 January, 2017, 13:32

    The hiring is driven by the corrupt Mexicans heading the legislature. They don t follow any laws and do not care. Deleon is a asshole . Rendon eats shit.The perfect couple. Lara likes it in his ass. Oh my.

    Reply this comment
    • Oscar
      Oscar 8 January, 2017, 22:06

      What exactly is it that you add to the civil discourse? Please advise…

      Reply this comment
  4. Arthur Christopher Schaper
    Arthur Christopher Schaper 7 January, 2017, 16:51

    No it isn’t legal. It’s corrupt.

    Reply this comment
  5. Elaine
    Elaine 7 January, 2017, 22:22

    This is another political assault and it does make one wonder what personality traits are developed which cause Republicans to be so punitive – this is a thoroughly blue state, sir.

    Reply this comment
  6. Queeg
    Queeg 8 January, 2017, 10:54


    This a gritty ugly Utopia run by true believers…..where and when will the serfs benefit?


    Reply this comment
  7. ricky65
    ricky65 9 January, 2017, 09:17

    In the process of draining the swamp, it appears a couple of the venomous snakes (namely Holder and Napolitano) slithered out a bit early.

    Reply this comment
  8. Dork
    Dork 9 January, 2017, 12:24

    Thank God we aren’t talking about MISAPPROPRIATION OF FUNDS and MONEY LAUNDERING to engage in a Criminal Conspiracy to Violate Federal Immigration Laws.

    Reply this comment
  9. Janet
    Janet 14 January, 2017, 13:13

    I agree with Rep.Kylie. This State has better things to do than to spend thousands of dollars on Eric Holder. It’s against the California Constitution, Article #7- you cannot hire outside counsel when you can adequately use in house counsel! Besides, this is PURELY POLITICAL!

    Reply this comment

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Tags assigned to this article:
Eric HolderKevin de LeonAnthony Rendonkevin kiley

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