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As D.C. Attorney General Becomes Elected Position, Legal Authority May Change

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Legislation before the D.C. Council will put city attorneys under the authority of the mayor.
Larry Miller: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drmillerlg/1246397248/
Legislation before the D.C. Council will put city attorneys under the authority of the mayor.

As D.C. prepares to elect its Attorney General next year, city lawmakers are poised to scale back some of the position's legal authority.

D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum in 2010 to make the attorney general an elected position. Currently, the mayor appoints someone to the post.  

But there's concern about what a politically-minded attorney general will mean for city business.

And the big question: who should lawyers at each city agency report to — the mayor or the attorney general?  

Right now, the attorney general oversees lawyers in the executive branch, but some fear that could create problems down the road when there is an independent  attorney general. They worry it could undermine the mayor's ability to implement policy.

On Wednesday, a D.C. council committee approved legislation to change the city's legal structure and put attorneys under the control of the mayor. The proposal will go the full council for a vote.

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