City Attorney Jonathan Hobbs introduces addition to Elk Grove's legal staff; Woes continue for the beleaguered department

Elk Grove city attorney Jonathan Hobbs (left) introduces Emilio Camacho to Elk Grove Mayor
Bobbie Singh-Allen and her city council during their recent meeting. | 

Elk Grove city attorney Jonathan Hobbs introduced the latest addition to the city's legal staff during the Wednesday, January 24 Elk Grove City Council meeting. Joining the city attorney's office legal staff is Mr. Emilio Camacho. Before joining Hobbs' Elk Grove City Hall staff, Mr. Camacho worked in the Sacramento City Attorney's office.

Mr. Camacho was admitted to the California State Bar (SB #282507) in May 2012. He has no disciplinary record with the state bar.

A speaker biography for a League of California Cities conference describes his Sacramento city attorney office's duties as "responsible for Advising the Sacramento Police Department. He also advises various departments on Homeless-related issues. He has extensive legal experience including advisory, administrative prosecution, civil prosecution, criminal prosecution, civil litigation, and appeals."

Mr. Camacho joined Elk Grove in October. In addition to the usual legal matters confronting the city's legal staff that come with representing Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her four city councilmen, the city faces high-profile and embarrassing lawsuits.

Along with defending a lawsuit from Long Beach, Calif.-based Excelerate Housing over their Oak Rose apartments, the city is confronting a lawsuit by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. The state is suing the city over violations of fair housing laws resulting from their July 2022 rejection of the Oak Rose supportive housing project.

Mayor Singh-Allen has repeatedly stated a settlement with Oak Rose is imminent. However, it has not been noted what effect the reported settlement has on Bonta's lawsuit. Along with Elk Grove, Bonta is aggressively pursuing lawsuits with other California municipalities for violating fair housing.

Even as he expands the city's legal staff, for years, Hobbs has been criticized for outsourcing work to his former employer, Sacramento-based Kroncik Moskovitz Tiedemann & Girard. Hobbs has refused to answer inquiries if he has current financial ties to the firm where he was a partner.

Additionally, Hobbs' legal guidance given to Mayor Singh-Allen in July 2022 (see second video below) justifying the rejection of the Old Town supportive housing project proved flawed. Hobbs tacitly admitted his failure in September when he advised Singh-Allen to reverse their July 2022 denial.

At the behest of vocal opponents to the project, Singh-Allen and the city council rejected Hobbs' advice and refused to take any action. Instead, Singh-Allen's settlement, which she said would be revealed on February 28, is expected to cost Elk Grove taxpayers millions. 

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Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

Too bad Sky River doesn't do wagers...yet. I would place a wager that within a year or two Mr. Hobbs "retires" to an Of counsel position at Kronick and Mr. Camacho takes over the department. Mr. Hobbs will have a fat CALPERS pension, and can cash in on his alleged deferred compensation with the firm.

Of course if worse comes to worse, he can always go back to creeping kids at Chuck E. Cheese!

Renegade said...

Welcome aboard Mr. Camacho. Hopefully, the city has finally lured in an attorney who is an actual litigator; at least the above review of him having experience both as a civil and criminal prosecutor would lend one to believe. This city has NEVER had an actual litigator on staff that I'm aware of, just pencil pushers who may not know where the county courthouse is actually located. It's my hope that this hire will severely diminish the need for our legal counsel to outsource any more work to Kronick et al at grossly inflated fees. As of 2022, our legal department of four full-time attorneys and one paralegal cost our taxpayers over $1.3 million. I'm sure their salaries and benefits are now well over $1.8 million especially taking into consideration Mr. Camacho's salary and benefits. Paying Mr. Hobbs over $400,000 a year and he can't do the work in house? Let's hope Mr. Camacho is a bulldog salivating to get into the courtroom. Our tax dollars demand it.

D.J. Blutarsky said...

Agree with the Captain. The key takeaway for me is that Hobbs will leave on his own terms. The City will never dump him because he has been involved with the City since its beginnings. Just imagine the dirt and the skeletons he has on the City!

Steve L said...

It’s funny, the mayor and council follow Hobbs when he gives bad advise (fighting Oak Rose originally), then ignore him when he gives prudent advise ( approve the same project a few months later). This is some crazy ass city we live in with crazy ass leaders.

Sid Vicious said...

Joh Hobbs is the Nathan Thurm of city attorneys.

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