Just as we are learning that the feds will limit our local tax deduction I read in Saturday's Californian that, rather than utilize its own employees, the Bakersfield city attorney will "vigorously defend" the Tatyana Hargrove case by spending additional taxpayer dollars to hire a Fresno law firm.

In these fiscally strapped times, why do we not require our city attorney (as we do our county council, district attorney and public defender) to more efficiently spend taxpayer funds by hiring lawyers who know how to try cases?

Rather than a vigorous defense, the city attorney's hiring practices sound more like an unnecessary and expensive legal equivalent of football's old Statue of Liberty play, i.e., one player (Bakersfield attorney) holds the ball (file) in the air and waits for another player (Fresno attorney) to grab and run with it.

Philip J. Beglin

Bakersfield