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Wynne Furth's Conflict of Interest

Original post made by John P. Johns, CPA on Apr 14, 2010

It appears as though Wynne Furth is faced with a happy dilemma (if there is such a thing). The more her client misbehaves, the more litigation Atherton faces. The more litigation Atherton faces, the more Wynne Furth gets paid.

From an income standpoint, the last couple of years have been very good to Ms. Furth. During Wynne Furth's tenure, expenditures for the City Attorney have gone from $200,000 per year to $450,000 per year, an increase of 250%.

Worse for the Town's coffers, Furth has presided over the recision of business license taxes and road impact fees, a combined source of revenue amounting to $1 million annually.

Some would have you believe that these fees were illegal. If you buy that line, I'd like you to consider investing in a very exciting real estate prospect in north west Arizona. You can get in on the ground floor.

Wynne Furth opined these fees to be illegal. This is the same Wynne Furth who encouraged her client to continue its two year legal battle with me, a battle that ultimately led to the Town's capitulation.

The fact of the matter is that Wynne Furth follows the direction of the prevailing wind. She tells the majority of the Council what it wants to hear. The fact of the matter is that neither the business license tax nor the road impact fee is illegal. They have not been declared illegal by a court of law nor did anyone even file suit against such fees. As the saying goes, something smells rotten in Denmark.

Wynne Furth should be sent packing along with Jerry Carlson, Elizabeth Lewis and Charles Marsala.

Speaking as your former Finance Director, I can tell you that if Atherton were a publicly traded company (as opposed to a municipal corporation) I would be selling Atherton stock short right now and I would almost surely make a small fortune.

Atherton's fortune will change when and only when it gets a City Attorney with honesty and integrity. That is not likely to happen until the majority on the Council is replaced with those who are more interested in good governance than in their own public image and personal finances.

I urge you to send Wynne Furth back to Palo Alto, another corrupt City Government who expelled an honest public servant and who got its head handed to it as a result.

Remember the Children's Theatre Case? Wynne Furth used to be the City Attorney for Palo Alto. [portion removed.]

Finally, forgive this shameless self promotion:

I'd love to come back as your finance director. In fact I fought to retain the right in my litigation with the Town.

I have a prosperous private practice at the moment. However, when the majority on the Council is replaced, when the Town is ready to hang out the banner "Under New Management". I wish to be considered as a member of that new management team.

Please keep me in mind. I will tell my private clients to be patient as I return to rebuild the Town's financial position and restore its reputation.

Now that the Town has given me back my reputation, now that it has restored my good name, the least I can do is to return the favor.

As an aside, one of my first acts as your new (old) finance director acts would be to cut the City Attorney's budget.

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