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Friday, November 21, 2014
Jury deliberates Fagen’s fate
(Page 2 of 3)
Kristie Arden/Herald
Councilman Mike Fagen at the Jan. 22 City Council meeting.

In response, Gann pointed to the fact that Fagen did not include his position as a councilman on his resume when he applied for a job at Willow Advisors. That, he said, was proof that Fagen did not consider it real work.

Gann also disputed the legitimacy of Fagen’s work log, a key piece of evidence in the pretrial investigation, in demonstrating the true workday of a City Council member. Gann claimed that the diary was exaggerated at the request of former City Comptroller Sandra Clarson in an attempt to make Fagen look as though his councilman’s duties took up full-time hours.

“If that diary is accurate … how could any other member of the City Council hold another job?” Gann asked the jury.

He also said he was “infuriated” that Clarson and former City Manager Charles Theofan were not called as witnesses, arguing that they were the only two people who had direct knowledge of the situation and communicated directly with Fagen. Theofan initiated the complaint against Fagen with the Department of Labor.

“If you were on trial, if you were sitting in Michael Fagen’s seat,” Gann said, “would you expect them to call the people who are accusing you?”

In his closing statement, Trager told the jury that there was no merit to Gann’s arguments, and that the case comes down to the paperwork. “This is a paper case,” he said. “The proof is in the pudding, and the pudding is the paperwork.”

Trager argued that all of the indisputable facts of the case were established through paperwork: Fagen’s start date as a councilman, his duties in the position and his nearly $20,000 annual salary. Even the nature of the work he did, Trager said, was determined through his emails.

“He’s not a slouch who’s collecting an annual salary for doing nothing,” Trager said. “He was trying to get things done and working hard at it.”

He argued that it was “ridiculous” that Fagen would actually believe that his only real duties were to attend two council meetings a month, making him a part-time employee, as the defense claimed. “Do any of you believe that the City of Long Beach would pay Michael Fagen $500, $600 per hour just to go to council meetings?” he asked the jury.

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