Rick Daniels Slips Announcing New City Attorney
DESERT HOT SPRINGS, CA – It was the moment the city had been waiting for, the big announcement of the replacement for Rubin Duran, the former city attorney. On Tuesday December 18 the firm of Green, de Borinowsky & Quintanilla was selected from a field of 12 candidates but it was not without incident, and a humorous one at that.
The council chambers erupted with laughter when city manager Rick Daniels misspoke making the announcement. “I would like to introduce the new city manager,” said Rick Daniels.
He quickly corrected himself. Was this a Freudian Slip?
Steve Quintanilla (Steve Q) of the new firm is returning after a long absence. He served as city attorney for Desert Hot Springs some time back. His firm is respected in the Coachella Valley; also serving as legal counsel for the cities of Rancho Mirage and Cathedral City. The new legal counsel saves the city considerable money as it will also be taking over code enforcement formerly handled by a separate firm.
City Attorney Ruben Duran was a headline grabbing city attorney whose legal council brought the city infamy with his signature endorsing many of the city’s problems the last five years. Duran’s signature was on the Music Festival, the Jewish Temple and the cover-up of city manager Rick Daniels’ personal problems that affected his job performance and cost the city several hundred thousand dollars in pay-offs to Laura Green and others.
Most city attorneys work quietly in the background. Not city attorney Ruben Duran who often backed up Mayor Parks in squelching public comment, interrupting speakers and cutting their time short
Keeping the lid on city secrets was city attorney Duran’s specialty as he was fond of Rick Daniels and he gambled on supporting the bully council majority of Parks and council members Scott Matas and Jan Pye.
Ruben Duran as city attorney crowned himself one of the power elite in the small desert city. Big pay working for the Meyers Nave law firm helped Duran finance his Beverly Hill home in contrast to the poverty stricken town which paid his law firm several million dollars over the time of his employ.
Separating himself from Meyers Nave to become a partner in the firm of Burke, Williams & Sorenson meant the prospect of Duran handing over his city attorney contract to his new firm. That came very close to happening with city manager Rick Daniels operating in cahoots with three city council members who tried to pull a fast one to quietly transfer city business to Ruben Duran and not solicit bids for the job.
Fortunately the city was required use the open bidding process preventing former city attorney Ruben Duran from scooping up the city business. The city was required to put the business out to open bidding and twelve law firms applied. Finally, after closed session debate the firm of Green, de Borinowsky & Quintanilla was selected and the new city attorney contract was signed at the December 18 meeting.
No further information on a new city manager was released at the meeting.