City Terminates Deal With Hunt After DUI

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The City of Newport Beach has terminated a week-old agreement for legal work with its former City Attorney David Hunt, in the wake of Hunt’s DUI arrest last Friday.

Hunt is now working with the Irvine-based law firm Friedman, Stroffe & Gerard.

In a letter sent to Hunt and firm principal James Stroffe today, obtained by the Newport Beach Independent, new Newport Beach City Attorney Aaron Harp refers to a section of the legal services agreement between the two in terminating it.

The agreement was just approved Sept. 27 by the City Council. Harp said at that time the Hunt had valuable experience and knowledge of ongoing cases, especially those involving rehab homes.

On Friday evening, Hunt was arrested by Newport Beach Police and charged with suspicion of DUI. The incident occurred at 7:25 p.m., according to police. NBPD spokeswoman Kathy Lowe said, “After interviewing the driver in the field, and performing a field sobriety test, the officer arrested him on suspicion of driving while  intoxicated.

Lowe said that the incident occurred in the parking lot of the Bonita Canyon Sports Park on Ford Road, which at its western end runs into a parking lot with no direct outlet. The park at that location contains a tennis court, basketball court and a child’s play area, all of which close at dusk without lighting

According to police Hunt’s car stuck a unoccupied parked car in the parking lot. A non-involved third party, who heard but did not see the actual accident, called police after coming to the scene of the collision shortly after it occurred and seeing the damage to the struck vehicle, Lowe said.

According to Lowe and the police report, Hunt claimed to the arresting officer he had been traveling from Laguna Beach that evening and was unfamiliar with the area but did not know the street dead-ended into the park without an outlet.

Hunt was previously arrested in 2010 on suspicion of felony spousal abuse. The charges were later dropped by the OC District Attorney. Hunt was put on leave for two months as the District Attorney’s Office considered the case, but was reinstated when the charges were dropped.

Hunt, who left the City Attorney job last month when Harp was appointed, was reached yesterday but declined to comment on his current arrest.

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