Barkat appeals firing of J'lem attorney [pg. 6]

Jerusalem opposition leader Nir Barkat has filed an appeal in a Jerusalem court against Mayor Uri Lupolianski and the municipality over the city's dismissal of respected city attorney Yossi Havilio, city officials said Thursday. The appeal, which is signed by six opposition city council members and is supported by Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz and The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, comes one week after the city council voted 23-5 to oust Havilio in the wake of a series of legal losses that Lupolianski suffered over the last two years for defying Havilio's legal opinions. "The decision to dismiss the city attorney is highly unreasonable, runs against the rules of proper governance, and was made out of invalid and external considerations which are both unworthy and irrelevant," Barkat wrote in the appeal. The dismissal will not go into effect until the Jerusalem Labor Court rules on the matter following an appeal launched by Havilio himself last week. Havilio's supporters called the ouster a travesty and a blow to the rule of law, while his opponents said that he had to go due to the tension with the mayor.