City attorney with right-wing agenda fights for survival in increasingly blue Huntington Beach
The city attorney is a high-level employee who handles the legal work of the city. Last month, he was fired by Mayor Pro Tem Gary Uranga, who is running for state attorney general against Republican contender John R. Adams.
And on Saturday, as city workers are finishing off their last day of work before the Christmas holiday weekend, Attorney Tom Sorensen’s fate could hang in the balance again.
Sorensen, who has been with the city for 20 years, was fired last week by Uranga as he seeks the office of state attorney general in a hotly contested race to succeed retiring Republican attorney general John R. Anderson.
The city attorney’s job is to handle city business. In the past, he has represented the city when it came into legal trouble from time to time.
At a special meeting last month, Uranga said Sorensen would be fired if he does not return to work by Nov. 14 or face termination.
Sorensen could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon, but the mayor said his staff is still attempting to reach Sorensen.
“Tom is working very hard to get the issue resolved and get back to work for the city,” Uranga said in a text message. “He has worked very hard to bring the city back from the brink and he will do everything in his power to do that.”
Sorensen, 53, is the highest-ranking law enforcement official in Orange County and one of the most prominent attorneys in the county.
When Sorensen was a young deputy city attorney in 2001, the city was sued by a police officer for wrongful arrest.
The city won the suit and the city attorney, John C. Hays, paid the officer to settle the case.
In 2006, city government made national news when the city’s then-city attorney, C.P. Young, resigned after being accused in a sexual harassment suit. Young’s resignation was the first of six in his seven-year career there.
He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of unlawful financial transaction without a license. He resigned from the city in lieu of