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.
Cory Briggs at a hearing. Photo by Ken Stone

San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott has filed a lawsuit accusing her election opponent Cory Briggs of falsely claiming he is a “taxpayer advocate” on his ballot statement.

Elliott’s private lawsuit, filed Friday in San Diego Superior Court, alleges Briggs’ sources of income do not show that he is an “attorney/taxpayer advocate.” The lawsuit seeks to have the “taxpayer advocate” portion removed before the election for City Attorney in November.

“Briggs’s sole profession is that of an attorney, and any attempt to embellish his principal profession, vocation or occupation is a shameless political stunt,” the lawsuit claims. “To the extent Briggs might advocate for taxpayers and others, he does so only in his capacity as an attorney, and therefore it is false, misleading, and/or inconsistent with the law for him to call himself `Attorney/Taxpayer Advocate.”‘

Briggs, who said he first learned of the lawsuit from the media, denied any misrepresentation in his ballot statement.

“I had the exact same ballot designation in the primary. Why is Ms. Elliott worried about it now?” he said. “I am an attorney advocate for taxpayers; it’s what I’ve been doing for over 20 years. Over the last 20 years, I’ve saved San Diego taxpayers more than $1 billion; in less than four years on the job, Ms. Elliott has cost the taxpayers over $300 million.”

Briggs leveled similar accusations of misrepresentation at Elliott, claiming that her ballot statement included a false endorsement by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

While the newspaper endorsed Elliott in the March primary, that endorsement did not carry over to November.

Dan Rottenstreich, Elliott’s campaign consultant, said the endorsement inclusion in Elliott’s statement was “an honest mix-up” regarding the Union-Tribune’s practices regarding its endorsements.

Briggs said he is planning to file a lawsuit to have Elliott’s statement changed.

“Sadly, going to court is the only way to fix her fraudulent statement of qualifications,” Briggs said.

— From Staff and Wire Reports

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.