Cory Briggs listens as opposing lawyer tells why San Diego County feared the occupation of the Julian fire station by its volunteer firefighters and supporters. Photo by Ken Stone

San Diego City Attorney candidate Cory Briggs is touting a plan that, if he’s elected in November, could ultimately put him out of a job.

It’s an unusual campaign strategy that depends on more than San Diego voters choosing him for the office. Voters must also approve a ballot measure proposed by the San Diego City Council to eliminate the City Attorney’s jurisdiction over civil matters, and then a new charter amendment that would transfer criminal responsibilities to the San Diego District Attorney.

Briggs, who is running to replace City Attorney Mara Elliott, released a media statement Thursday saying that as city attorney, if voters pass the measure slated for the November ballot, he will introduce the required charter amendment. Briggs said the move would streamline government operations by shutting down the city attorney’s office and saving  taxpayers as much as $15 million.

“San Diegans already pay taxes to support the district attorney’s work,” Briggs said in a press release. “There is no good reason to pay twice. My proposal would free up at least $15 million a year for libraries, parks and other community services and amenities without compromising public safety.”

Political consultant Dan Rottenstreich, who oversees Elliott’s campaign, panned the proposal.

“Cory Briggs has finally figured out that he’ll never be City Attorney so long as the choice is up to the public,” Rottenstreich said. “He’s trying to destroy the position out of spite.”

Updated at 4 p.m. a.m., Friday, July 3, 2020

— Staff report

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