The Brandman Majority forces out Anaheim’s Latina City Attorney for honestly doing her job.


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UPDATED WITH PRESS RELEASE AND CRISTINA’S BIO – see below!

A jolly Brandman, and a nonplussed City Attorney Talley as photographed by Cris Prevat.

Cristina Talley has been Anaheim’s City Attorney since 2009, and has been doing stellar legal work for the city since 1996.  Until being forced out yesterday that is, by the new Jordan Brandman council majority.

Notice the lack of an “h” in “Cristina?”  That’s because Cristina is a Latina – one of the very few Hispanic city attorneys in California, and a source of pride to her community.

She tells it, I mean, she told it like it is.  Which seems to have been her undoing, just like Costa Mesa’s Attorney Barlow who was let go last year for correctly telling THAT council they couldn’t just fire all their employees willy-nilly.  The Brandman-Murray-Eastman majority looks to want a yes man like George W Bush had in Alberto Gonzales and John Woo;  someone who’ll do their dirty work like Nixon’s first two Attorneys General wouldn’t until he found Robert Bork.

A year ago, when the corporatist majority voted to approve the $158 million Gardenwalk Giveaway without properly notifying the public, Cristina tried to warn them against it.  They didn’t listen – they don’t have to.  And now, as perversely as can be imagined, they’re pretending that her failure not to warn them HARD ENOUGH (now that the court has ruled against them, and the whole deal has apparently fallen through) is the reason they’ve fired her.  Right.  She didn’t leap right over her desk and physically stop them from pushing those YES buttons.

No.  More like this:  Cristina has steadfastly advised the city, as any knowledgeable lawyer will, that they are in violation of the California Voters Rights Act and will not prevail in the districting lawsuit which has ALREADY COST THE CITY $280 THOUSAND so far – THIS is the biggest thing they don’t want to hear.  (While they perversely pretend to be open to the idea of districting, while fighting it tooth and nail.)

And there’s also the fact that, as citizen activists like Cynthia Ward and Jason Young request documents they’re legally entitled to which show the city’s corruption, and they’re stonewalled and stymied by protective bureaucrats, Cristina has uprightly insisted, “No, you must give up those documents, let the chips fall where they may.”

THESE are the real reasons that the Brandman majority has forced out this upstanding Latina attorney, as they squander city resources trying so desperately to avoid the inevitable reform that will EMPOWER and enfranchise Anaheim’s Latinos.  NOT TO WORRY THOUGH!  Brandman has thrown you Latinos a bone – a plan to translate council meetings into Spanish, which absolutely NOBODY ASKED FOR.

Oh, here’s something you probably didn’t know.  How were they able to force this fine woman to quietly but reluctantly resign, what sort of carrots and sticks may have come into play?  I’ll tell you something:  her husband is battling cancer and hence unable to work – watch for her medical coverage to continue, which would have been in danger if she didn’t comply.

So How Are You Liking This Brandman?

This couldn’t have happened without Jordan, you know.  Jordan completing the permanent corporatist majority on the Anaheim council.  Jordan, the “progressive Democrat,” who promised Los Amigos to “settle” the districting lawsuit yet fires the attorney whose offense is insisting the city needs to settle the districting lawsuit.

I’m asking Loretta Sanchez.  Sharon Quirk-Silva.  Lou Correa.  Jose Solorio.  Still bullish on your golden boy, Dem bigwigs?  This is only the beginning.  The beginning of the damage he’s gonna perpetrate for the Anaheim plutocracy, and the beginning of his proving to the whole big town, and its Latino voters, that Democrats are no better than Republicans after all.

Rally for Talley, Tuesday at 4.

from Take Back Anaheim:

Cristina Sierra Montes Talley.

RALLY FOR TALLEY, Tuesday, February 5, 2013 4:00pm – 5:00pm

 Steps of Anaheim City Hall, 200 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim

Before this Tuesday’s council meeting, organizations, individuals and Anaheim residents will gather for a “RALLY FOR TALLEY” in protest of the forced resignation of Anaheim City Attorney Cristina Talley, one of the state’s very few Latina city attorneys.

In closed session on January 29th, the Anaheim council majority demanded Talley’s resignation within 48 hours or be faced with being fired on February 5th.  Talley tendered her resignation on January 31st.  Councilmember Gail Eastman blamed Talley for the court nullification of the $158 million tax giveaway because of a Brown Act violation, although the violation was committed by the council majority, AGAINST Talley’s advice.

Talley’s real offense seems to be warning the council that they are in violation of the California Voting Rights Act by not proceeding with district elections, yet the council majority has ignored her advice and the city of Anaheim remains in expensive litigation, fighting against district elections to the tune of $280,000 so far in legal costs.

Born Cristina Lourdes Sierra in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Talley remains a role model to many disenfranchised youth, as she, herself, came from a poor, large, Latino, single-parent household, but overcame significant challenges to become the city attorney of one of the most influential cities in the nation.

Speakers at the Rally for Talley will include representatives from Los Amigos of Orange County, Take Back Anaheim, past presidents of the Orange County Hispanic Bar Association and Lorri Galloway, former Anaheim councilmember.

For information, please contact Joanne Sosa, Take Back Anaheim, 714-715-8798.

 BIO

I was born in the small agricultural town of Las Cruces, New Mexico, one of seven children from a very low‐income Hispanic family.  My mother worked as a secretary and my father was a mail carrier.  My parents’ 20‐year marriage ended in divorce when I was 13, and in 1971, my mother remarried and moved our family to Pomona, California.

Notwithstanding those challenges, I graduated cum laude from California State Polytechnic University, and was the recipient of an academic scholarship from the University of Southern California Law School. Except for my first year of law school, I always worked part‐time to support myself and pay for my own education.

I worked in private practice for about 13 years, achieving partner at AV Rated (the highest possible rating) Adams, Duque & Hazeltine.  I practiced almost exclusively municipal law, with an emphasis in complex litigation.  I have numerous reported appellate decisions and tried both civil and criminal cases.

I left private practice to become the City Attorney for Pasadena and held that office for two years before coming to Anaheim.


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County. Performs regularly with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem, and at regular concerts at the Huntington Beach Central Library.