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L.A. Agency to Lawyer: Recuse You

Adelphia Communications Corp.'s legal woes have triggered a spat between the publicity-seeking city attorney here and another agency charged with negotiating a franchise renewal with the bankrupt operator.

The Board of Information Technology Commissioners has sent a letter to the attorney, Rocky Delgadillo, demanding he recuse himself from negotiations with the operator. The Information Technology Agency has been attempting to negotiate renewals for Adelphia's five Los Angeles franchises due to expire this month.

The board, a panel of citizens appointed to make recommendations to the City Council on cable issues, is angry that Delgadillo has held press conferences and divulged information that is the subject of private negotiations.

Mayor James Hahn, who supports the board's action, also signed the letter.

Board members apparently believe the attorney is weakening the city's negotiating position with the operator by speaking out in public rather than working within the city hierarchy.

The Information Technology Agency has hired Washington, D.C.-based legal firm Miller & Van Eaton to assist on legal matters and wants to expand that firm's authority, rather than continue to deal with Delgadillo.