They thought it was going to be a short, sweet, simple first oversight board meeting. With only four oversight members selected, the meeting began with everyone pledging allegiance to a wall without a flag. This was a harbinger of what was to follow.
It was one of the of the most chaotic meeting in Fresno history.
Next, Fresno City Council Member Larry Westerlund told the board to go home because it had failed to comply with a multitude of legal requirements. It hadn’t been fully or properly formed or constituted.
Nonetheless, handful of votes were taken. Board member Doug Vagim was elected chairman. Some were sworn in.
Then a political and legal bomb was dropped on the Board: The city of Fresno lawyer Doug Sloan stunned the board by swiftly handing each member a copy of a thick lawsuit alleging everything that had transpired was illegal and void.
Board members were told they don’t exist. “We’re being sued — by our own lawyer!”, exclaimed one board member.
Late last week, four board members signed a notice calling for a special meeting Monday even thought there was no legal Oversight Board per se.
The four overzealous members said they were a quorum of the seven-member board and the time had come to act.
The lawsuit, to be heard in Sacramento County Superior Court this week, asks a judge to stop the board from doing anything of substance until next week.
For the full Fresno Bee Story
This story was rewritten for brevity and clarity.
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