On April 19, 2012, the Los Angeles Times had some interesting data compilations showing the annual totals, percentage of city operating/redevelopment budgets, and per capita spending on city attorneys for the 2005-2010 budgets.
Los Angeles was the winner in spending: about $133 million per year spent on the City Attorney, but this only translated to 1% of the budget and $29 on a per capita basis.
Vernon was the per capita winner, having annual costs of $10.6 million--about 3.8% of the budget but $98,234 per capita based on a population of 114 (yep, 114) having a median income of $38,625 per person.
Signal Hill won the percentage of budget award, averaging annually $1.45 million or 4.3% of its budget.
The primary reason costs went up for city attorney spending? Fighting corruption (a la City of Bell).
Here is the data set in case you want to see the charts for each category, seeing what cities were in the “top of their class.”
Fighting corruption. Wanda Newman and Teresa Philips and their dog Cammi pose in Batman outfits for Do Dah Day, Birmingham, Alabama. May 15, 2010. Carol M. Highsmith Collection, Library of Congress.