Melanie M. Poturica is managing partner at the law firm of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore in Los Angeles, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. David A. Urban is an attorney with the firm, and can be reached at email@example.com.
In the public eye, city council members are at the top of the city’s government structure, presiding over large and small bureaucracies that may include police officers, firefighters and many other types of employees charged with serving the public interest. Accordingly, when residents are aggrieved by or interested in the conduct of a particular employee, they may view their council member as that employee’s ultimate “boss” or de facto CEO of the city, who can cause the employee to be disciplined or even terminated, and who could certainly take such lesser actions as communicating with the employee’s direct supervisor or reviewing the employee’s personnel file for information relevant to the issue.