Anaheim Insider here.
Earlier this month, Superior Court Judge James Di Cesare smacked down the CATER lawsuit against September 2013 council approval of the now-defunct negotiations MOU with the Angels. His ruling dressed down CATER lawyer and blogger Greg Diamond but gave him one more chance to get it right (most likely to bullet-proof his ruling against being overturned on appeal).
Diamond and CATER President Cynthia Ward decided to do something smart and brought in another attorney, Chad Morgan. Judge Di Cesare had strongly criticized Diamond verbal diarrhea, which is absent from the amended complaint, which you can read here. Morgan is an attorney and campaign consultant, and was also chief of staff to former Assemblyman Allan Mansoor.
This is not Chad Morgan’s first legal foray into Anaheim politics. Last year, he successfully represented now-Councilman James Vanderbilt when he was defending his use of “educator” as a ballot title (After the election was over, Vanderbilt listed his occupation on his campaign reports as “Military Officer, US Army). Now, he’s representing CATER in suing the city that his former client helps govern.
Vanderbilt’s newly-hired council assistant is Helen Myers, a very close friend of CATER chief Cynthia Ward, who is the plaintiff in this CATER lawsuit. Myers was the treasurer of the Committee to Oppose Measure D, the campaign committee Mayor Tait used to fight the attempt to change mayoral terms to four two-year terms. Word on the inside was Vanderbilt initially wanted to split the position between Myers and Monika Koos, the wife of John Koos, owner of Core Communications (doing business as Core Development Services), which represents clients seeking approval for cel phone towers. According to his Form 700, Vanderbilt receives between $10,000 and $100,00 in annual income from Core Communications.
Perhaps that income is part of the $200,000 of his own money Vanderbilt spent on his city council campaign. That figure isn’t well known because he waited until December to deposit almost $100,000. According to October-December 2014 campaign filing, most of that went to pay his campaign consultant. It’s an unusual approach, but waiting until after the election kept it from being used as a potential hit piece.