Cities that challenged the State DoF over redevelopment issues are beginning to fall like dominoes. Given the big picture, the city has little justification for suing the state.
The city of 29 ought to consider dismissing its legal action against the state and county with prejudice and recoup a large portion of the unused $200,000 in attorney fees. And save possibly hundreds of thousands more in legal fees in years of protracted litigation.
July 10 last month, the Sacramento Superior Court in Vallejo, League of California Cities, County of Santa Clara, Santa Clara United School District vs. ANA J. MATOSANTOS in her official capacity as Director of the State of California Department of Finance – the Court rejected all of plaintiffs and Petitioner’s actions (similar actions to 29 Palms) — Complaint for Writ of Mandate, Injunction and Declaratory Relief.
In practice, it could cost taxpayers up to a million dollars in legal fees and court costs – in addition to the legal fees and court costs of the State.
In the 29′s action against the DoF, the city’s legal counsel — contract attorney from Orange County, Patrick Munoz — challenged the judge initially assigned to the case under a CCP 170.6 motion. Hence by stipulation, a new Judge was assigned: Judge Michael P. Kenny.
Kenney is the judge that made the ruling herein in the Vallejo case. In hindsight, that wasn’t a prudent move.
Appeals can take years, especially if it is bouncing back and forth between the Superior Court, the Appellate court and the California Superior Court. That happens. The California Appellate Court may remand the case back to the Superior Court and then appealed back to the Appellate Court. The State Supreme Court may remand the case back to the Appellate; if the Appellate Court is not liked, Munoz could appeal it back to the Superior Court.
Case in point: My families’ and my civil case against a dishonest trustee who invading a family trust fund continued for over seven years because it bounced back and forth as herein described. And I’ve also worked on civil cases that have lasted years.
Even when brought before the appeals court and California Supreme Court, which is the plan, the case will take a nose dive. The high court has already ruled on the constitutionality of ABX 1 26, so have lower courts on these redevelopment issues.
But for Councilmembers Jim Harris and Cora Heiser, it appears Joel Klink, Jay Corbin are more preoccupied with frivolous and non-priority special pet projects — like an absurd and precarious and costly ARCH over the city and SR 62 (no kidding) — and are not adequately overseeing taxpayers concerns.
Harris and Heiser have called for updates on several city business issues, including an update on the suit against the state and San Bernardino County.
Even though I honestly believe Orange County contract attorney for the city, Patrick Munoz and Rutan & Tucker, should be retired as legal counsel for cause (bad legal advice and legal advice that is now burdening the city with a 30-year $30,00,00 bond debt) and I’ve justifiably been critical of Patrick Munoz, the fact is state bar members are required by the Stage Bar Act to zealously represent their clients. Hence, from his perspective, he is zealously representing 29 Palms.
In doing so, outside legal counsel will make money off taxpayers beyond the dreams of most Twentynine Palms residents.
Many in the Morongo Basin thought that recent fired city manager in Yucca Valley was making way too much money off the backs of residents and taxpayers; his salary pales in comparison to what Munoz and Rutan & Tucker make off the city. During the last three years in terms of dead duck Project Phoenix and the Bond issues, the city contract attorney has enriched himself beyond belief.
Don’t choke but there is nothing at all tangible that has benefited the city. Not one iota of a benefit for the city. Nothing build; nothing gained.
Who is running the show at city hall?
Last Updated 5:20 p.m., Tuesday 8/27/2013
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