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Oakland City Attorney Seeks Job As Alameda City Manager

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Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

Oakland City Hall. (CBS)

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OAKLAND (CBS/KCBS) — Oakland City Attorney John Russo is reportedly one of three finalists for the position of Alameda City Manager. On Friday, sources close to the hiring process revealed the news.

Russo’s ongoing squabble with members of the Oakland’s City Council and Mayor Jean Quan has taken a serious turn in recent weeks, on issues involving city authorized marijuana farms and court injunctions to regulate where alleged gang members are allowed to congregate.

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

Former State Senator Don Perata, who lost a close mayoral race to Jean Quan last November, said the acrimonious relationship between the council and its’ top lawyer comes at a bad time, just as Governor Brown’s budget slashes state funding for cities.

“The more disruption there is, the more you have these offline and unnecessary squabbles, the less the people’s business is going to get done. When this thing comes down from Sacramento, it’s going to come like a rocket,” said Perata referring to the budget.

Perata said he wouldn’t run again for Mayor of Oakland, perhaps because he’s still smarting from his election loss, and that it’s probably better for everyone involved if Russo gets the Alameda job.

Perata added that Russo isn’t likely to stay in a position where he’s at odds against the city council and the mayor, and would just as soon move on where he can become an advocate, rather than an adversary.

Russo had previously denied reports that he was looking for another position. This is the second recent instance where Oakland has been threatened by the loss of a top city official. Police Chief Anthony Batts, who also had his frustrations on the job, was passed over for the position of San Jose’s police chief and stayed in the East Bay.

The Alameda City Manager also happens to pay more than Oakland’s City Attorney job. A spokeswoman for Mayor Quan offered no comment.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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