Thursday, April 5, 2007 | City Attorney Mike Aguirre and Mayor Jerry Sanders used to talk nearly every day. But, for the last week, the city attorney hasn’t been returning his colleague’s calls.
Aguirre said it’s not a snub, but rather a measure of caution as he continues what’s become a controversial investigation into a department that falls under the mayor’s supervision. He said he doesn’t want to hamper his investigation into the construction of a 12-story building in Kearny Mesa by entering into an attorney-client relationship with Sanders.
A Complex Edifice
Still, Aguirre’s newest cause, and the political fallout that has arisen in its wake, has begun to show strains on the unlikely partnership the two men have forged since Sanders’ election in late 2005. In his investigation into the Sunroad project, Aguirre has employed the same zeal that highlighted his battles against council members, labor leaders and others. However, never before has Aguirre’s signature hardball style come so close to smacking Sanders.
“This has been a crusade for Mike. Why? I don’t know,” Sanders said. “It’s starting to divert attention away from the business we need to take care of.”
For their first year together at City Hall, the two kept up the appearance of being chummy partners who are set on reforming the city of San Diego. But many have waited for the moment Aguirre’s bombast threatened the relationship between the environmentalist city attorney and the pro-development mayor.