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FIRM TAPPED TO PROBE S.J. GARBAGE DEAL SAN JOSE � Palo Alto office of Dechert has been tapped to head an independent investigation into an $11.25 million backroom deal that San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales is alleged to have negotiated with the city’s trash haulers. Dechert partner Chris Scott Graham is expected to report back to the San Jose City Council within 90 days. He did not respond to repeated calls for comment. The Dechert probe, announced Thursday, begins three months after a searing civil grand jury report accused Gonzales and several other administrators of violating the city charter by negotiating a secret deal with Norcal Waste Systems to ensure a pay raise for Teamsters union members at a local recycling plant. District Attorney George Kennedy said in June that he wasn’t interested in conducting his own investigation. But as things started to heat up over the summer, Kennedy indicated last week that he will likely make a public announcement on the matter in December, around the time that Dechert’s report is expected. The city has remained steadfast in defending its administrators, releasing an official response Thursday that says the “grand jury was wrong” to accuse the mayor. According to the jury report, Gonzales “concealed and misrepresented” facts which “unwittingly” convinced the city council that it was obligated to pay Norcal $11.25 million for “alleged unanticipated increased labor costs.” The mayor has said he was just trying to avoid a garbage strike when he brought the contract before the council. “I am confident that nothing new will come out [from Dechert's investigation],” said the mayor’s spokesman, David Vossbrink. City council capped spending on the independent investigation at $100,000. � Julie O’Shea MOFO PARTNER TAKES GENERAL COUNSEL ROUTE Stephen Dunham, longtime partner and former chairman of Morrison & Foerster, is leaving the firm in December to become vice president and general counsel of Johns Hopkins University. Dunham has spent most of his career at MoFo, taking an eight-year hiatus in 1979 to join the faculty of the University of Minnesota, where he became general counsel. “I’m very torn,” Dunham said. “It’s a hard decision to leave, but this is an opportunity to do something else I love at a very high level.” A litigator, Dunham has handled intellectual property, employment disputes, First Amendment issues, accreditation, ethics and higher education issues. After graduating from Yale University Law School in 1969, he clerked with a federal district judge and taught at UC-Davis and in Taiwan for two years. He joined MoFo in 1972. He was a managing partner from 1990 to 1992 and chairman from 1996 to 2000. � Brenda Sandburg NICHOLS’ LAWYERS ASK FOR CHANGE OF VENUE ATLANTA � Lawyers for accused courthouse shooter Brian Nichols have asked the judge to move the case out of the Fulton County, Ga., Courthouse, arguing that it is a crime scene. Nichols’ lawyers also pointed to a possible defense by requesting that the prosecution preserve any evidence that the defendant was “under the influence of mental or emotional disturbance” at the time of the killings or that he “was suffering from unrelated but abnormal stressors at the time of the crime.” The defense lawyers also have asked the judge to help them get enough information to decide whether to request that the Fulton district attorney’s office be disqualified. The requests came late Wednesday as part of the first set of motions filed by Nichols’ new legal team, headed by Gary Parker of the Georgia Public Defender Standards Council. Nichols, 33, allegedly shot and killed Fulton Superior Court Judge Rowland Barnes and a court reporter, Julie Ann Brandau, inside the judge’s courtroom on the morning of March 11. A few minutes later, Nichols ran out of the building and reportedly gunned down a pursuing deputy, Sgt. Hoyt Teasley. � Fulton County Daily Report

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