Botts attacks L.A. Times reporter

Botts attacks L.A. Times reporter – at taxpayer’s expense !


10/22/10 Documents obtained by The Banning Informer suggest that City Attorney David Aleshire aimed to protect the public image of Mayor Bob Botts when he complained to the L.A. Times about a recently published article. The October 1st front page story (view) pointed to Banning as a prime example for the abuse of redevelopment funds . For his services Aleshire normally bills the Banning taxpayer an hourly rate of up to $ 190.00, (view typical billing statement).



Bob Botts shamelessly uses public resources to protect his political campaign

Undoubtedly, the L.A. Times article did severe damage to Botts’ campaign for re-election. However, rather than picking up the phone himself and complaining to the reporter, Botts used the “intimidation factor” of the City Attorney’s office to bring his point across. At least two emailed letters were sent by the City Attorney to the L.A. Times regarding this matter (view correspondence).

By masterminding such a stunt, Botts – once again – also shows complete disregard for taxpayer rights and for the City’s finances. Knowing full well that the City of Banning is in financial distress, Botts has the Banning taxpayer pick up the bill for this self-serving escapade.

Nobody shall dispute Bob Botts’ right to complain. But why should the taxpayer have to pay for it ? It could not be more clear : Botts  decided to use taxpayer money to protect his campaign . Is this how we want our taxpayer funds to be spent ? How does this make Banning different from the City of Bell ?



The emailed letters by Aleshire do not indicate that they are sent for any public purpose. At no time does Aleshire allege that the City of Banning’s image or that of the Redevelopment Agency have been damaged by the article ;  his correspondence primarily emphasizes how Bob Botts was supposedly treated unfairly by the reporter, Kim Christensen.

The lack of public purpose of Aleshire’s letters is further evidenced by his statement that what he is writing is “not for public consumption”. How do Aleshire’s letters possibly serve a public purpose if they are “not for public consumption” ?

Who was it that City Attorney Aleshire represented when he sent this correspondence ? Did he represent the citizens of Banning , like he is supposed to, or did he represent the campaign interest of Mayor Bob Botts, who – after reading the LA Times article – saw his campaign in deep trouble ?  Draw your own conclusions.



City Attorney Aleshire : who's side is he really on ?

When City Attorney David Aleshire took office in Banning over a year ago, he started out as a true attorney for the people of Banning. Oftentimes he would take the side of the “underdog” and oppose the Council’s plans. Late last year, when Bob Botts wanted to give tens of thousands of dollars to the Haven coffee house without proper documentation, Aleshire stopped him and told Botts in open session that he could not proceed in this manner.

When this website sought documentation on Council member Don Robinson bouncing several checks to the Banning Utility (story), it was Aleshire’s office who produced the relevant information.

Ever since then, City Attorney Aleshire has made a complete “180”He now seems to protect the interests of the Council over those of the citizens. When the City Council issued their outrageously defiant response to the Grand Jury, it was Aleshire who aided and abetted the Council every step of the way.

Recently, when angry citizens accused the City Council of engaging in illegal activities when they diverted millions of dollars from a water bond for the police station , Aleshire scolded them for making such a suggestion. All this leads to one question : Did Bob Botts and/or the rest of the Council threaten Aleshire’s job if he did not cooperate ?

We don’t know the answer, but here is what we do know : With his letters to the L.A. Times and similar recent escapades, David Aleshire seems to suggest that he is no longer an attorney of the people of Banning, but serves the interests of his political masters on the City Council. Once we get a new City Council, Banning may be well advised to get rid of this lapdog and look for a new, truly impartial City Attorney.