A: His lips are moving.

More to the point, this old, cliched ‘lawyer joke’ seems to be perfectly tailored to our very own sleaze-weasel city attorney, John MacKinnon.

Most of you are keenly aware of our opinion of our Bisbee City Attorney, John MacKinnon’s ethics and honesty. We don’t mention ‘integrity’, because we don’t believe he has any, nor does he have any more of a moral compass than any other lawyers we’ve ever met.

To explain what’s going on, Jeff Harris, a member of the Bisbee Planning and Zoning commission objected to two new ‘gentrification’ zoning regulations on the basis that their adoption in the City Code was legally, and procedurally flawed. The issues were never presented to the Planning and Zoning commision for review or recommendation as is required by the Bisbee City Charter. Mr Harris then filed two referenda, to halt the implementation of those new ordinances. At a hearing in Superior court on the issue of cross summary judgement motions, City Attorney John MacKinnon promised Judge Collins of the Cochise County Superior Court that *no enforcement* of the contested ordinances would take place until the entire issue had been finally adjudicated in court.

It seems that that was just another misleading statement, (read: outright lie) part of a continuing exercise in ‘Johnny Mack’s’ efforts to support John Charley, who, as Bisbee’s spectacularly unqualified Community Development Director, intends to turn Bisbee, Arizona into a theme park, while incidentally padding his own more than ample tailored pockets with the proceeds of the greatly inflated value of his own, extensive personal real estate holdings. Of course, “Conflict of Interest” is a meaningless term with the current Bisbee City Council, Mayor and administrative staff.

We’re told repeatedly that we should not accuse public figures of lying. It’s not politically correct. I’m from a small town in Ohio, and I learned that if a person told you something that you later discovered to be untrue, that statement was, ipso facto, a “lie”, and the person who told you the lie was, by definition a liar. In this case, we fail to see how MacKinnon’s statement in Superior Court can be construed to be anything but a deliberate, ‘in your face’, flat-out lie.

With that as background, I received the following email on Friday, 26 January, 2007:

I was just informed by a passer by that a vehicle in front of my house has been red tagged by the Bisbee Police Department for removal as an abandoned vehicle if it is not moved within 72 hours. So much for City Attorney MacKinnon’s assurance to Judge Collins in Superior Court that the City would not be enforcing the ordinances underlying the two referenda presently in litigation until this issue has been fully resolved.

After the lucky recipient of this notification went out to look at the red tag, to check it, I got this email correction:

Correction: The vehicle was red tagged by the Bisbee Police Department for removal as an abandoned vehicle if it is not moved within 24 hours, not 72 hours as stated above.
You might want to rethink leaving home here in Bisbee for more than 24 hours if you have a vehicle parked in front of your house … especially if you have any kind of beef with City Hall.
P.S. The next court date scheduled is still the hearing on the cross motions for summary judgment on February 21, 2007 at 11 AM.

It appears that this lawyer, who is himself a sworn officer of the court, although currently employed by the city, feels perfectly comfortable lying to the court. For those of us who detest lawyers in any and all of their incarnations and manifestations, we aren’t all that suprised by John MacKinnon’s breach of the court’s trust. For anyone who actually believes in the fiction that our rights are *protected* by the courts, let this be an object lesson for you.

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