City Beat

News, insight and discussion on Sacramento and its neighborhoods

April 4, 2012
Sacramento City Attorney Teichert resigns

Sacramento City Attorney Eileen Teichert, one of City Hall's highest-ranking officials, has resigned.

In a letter to Mayor Kevin Johnson and members of the City Council today, Teichert said she has been "presented with an opportunity to continue my career as a municipal lawyer with an excellent organization closer to my family in Southern California." Her letter can be found here: TeichertMemo4-4.pdf

"Although I will miss the many talented and dedicated City officers, staff and elected officials, I must pursue this opportunity," she said.

Teichert has served as the city attorney for six years. She did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Despite budget roadblocks, Teichert's office led a neighborhood program that held property and business owners accountable for neglecting land they own in the city. The program "cleaned up record numbers of problem properties through the City" and led to the eviction of dozens of drug dealers, according to Teichert's 2008-10 annual report.

Her office also successfully defended the city against "an unrelenting stream of lawsuits large and small, disposing of an impressive 68 percent of the damage suits against the City without payment of any City money," her report states.

While strongly supported by most City Council members, Teichert did spar with Johnson since the mayor took office in 2008.

Last year, the mayor called Teichert into a closed-session job review after former Interim City Manager Gus Vina claimed the city attorney had misled the council during a discussion on a controversial "crash tax" that would have charged out-of-town drivers fees for getting into wrecks in the city. The council never voted on Teichert's job status.

Before that, the mayor and Teichert engaged in a very public disagreement in 2009 over Johnson's strong mayor proposal.

Teichert had directed the mayor to recuse himself from a strong mayor discussion, arguing he had a financial stake in the matter since he had loaned the strong mayor campaign money. Johnson refused.

The mayor also disagreed with some of the city attorney's opinions stating that his original strong mayor plan of 2008 was "fatally flawed." Johnson made it widely known that if his first strong mayor plan ever passed, his first order of business would be to fire Teichert.

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About City Beat

Ryan Lillis has covered the city of Sacramento, its 108 neighborhoods and its politicians since 2008. Prior to that, he covered crime at The Bee. A native of upstate New York, Lillis has a journalism degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Contact reporter Ryan Lillis at rlillis@sacbee.com

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