Legal Ethics

Conflict waiver OK'd city lawyer's work for others while drawing severance pay, his counsel says

An ethics complaint by a city councilman against a former city attorney for Glendale, Ariz., is without merit, because it fails to take into account critical facts, a lawyer for Craig Tindall says in a written response.

The complaint contends that Tindall, who now works as general counsel for the Phoenix Coyotes, should not have performed work related to the team while drawing severance pay from the city. But the response, which was filed earlier this year and recently obtained by the Republic, says Tindall obtained a transactional conflict waiver from the city that allowed him to do just that.

It states: “The City, with informed consent from its attorney, hereby waives any conflict of Employee or a law firm with which Employee may become affiliated regarding transactional matters previously handled by Employee for the City.”

Attorney Andrew Halaby’s response to the State Bar of Arizona on Tindall’s behalf also says the complaint against Tindall by former Councilman Phil Lieberman does not distinguish between the various ownership groups, team operators and arena managers involved in the Coyotes franchise. Only one councilman claimed a conflict, Halaby noted, not the city itself.

The arena where the hockey team plays its home games is located in Glendale.

A Phoenix Business Journal story provides additional details.

Tindall joined Fennemore Craig in July, the law firm announced (PDF) last year, but was there only briefly before taking a job as general counsel for the Phoenix Coyotes, the Republic reported at the time of the transition.

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