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Another Southland City Gets Ass handed to it by Court

By   /   March 16, 2014  /   6 Comments

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ass Another City, another lawsuit and another decision against a stubborn municipal government, unwilling to play by the rules.

West Covina City administrators Friday warned that a recent decision in Sacramento Superior Court could result in the state raiding nearly all of West Covina’s $12 million cash reserve.  In an Article written in the The San Gabriel Valley Tribune it was written:

The city [of West Covina] filed a lawsuit in May in an attempt to block the state from invalidating more than $26 million in loan payments, as well as seizing $11.5 million in loan payments made to the city in the months leading up to the elimination of redevelopment agencies by the state on Feb. 1 of last year, West Covina officials said.

But in a Feb. 25 ruling, Judge Michael Kenny ruled against the city of West Covina and found that although the city’s loan agreements with its former redevelopment agency were legal and proper, the legislation disbanding redevelopment agencies has the authority to retroactively undo the contracts, city officials said in a written statement issued late Friday

You might remember that this is the same Judge that heard our city’s case. A ruling in the 29 Palms case is expected April 24th. We expect the decision to be similarly devastating to the City of Twentynine Palms.

The writing is on the wall folks. Bye Bye Project Phoenix!


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About the author

Dan OBrien


Cactus Thorns has been online in one form or the other since 2001. What started as a personal blog documenting the corruption and lack of Due Process of the 29 Palms Community Development Department has turned into over these many years into a hugely popular Independent Alternative News Media Outlet. We have partnered with other media including The Desert Star Weekly, Joshua Tree Star, other blogs, indie media and an incredible staff of volunteer Reporters, Commentators and Opinion Makers to create one of the most read, honest and dependable alternative to the Local traditional Media services in the country. Thanks to you the reader we are in the 5% of most read sites in the World.


  1. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    “retroactively” undo a legal contract? Ben, what’s your view on this?

    • Hi Larry,

      The state (Dof & Attorney General) has determined there is no valid enforceable contract. And when this matter first arose, Munoz stated on record during a council meeting that there is an enforceable implied covenant. My view, if no contract no implied enforceable contract.

      Dating back to old English common law, where we get our legal system, it’s common legal knowledge that courts will NOT make missing elements to a contract to make it unenforceable make a contract valid.

      Munoz’s alleged implied contract in this case is absurd.

      The retroactive issue.. The state has to power and the judiciary can pick which of the two argument they feel applicable.

    • Steve Spear Steve Spear says:

      Hi Larry,

      As you and others know I was against this bond sale from the very start.

      Not that the sale of bonds were totally evil. But because the sale was for a project we as city did not need and in the long run was not a good idea. Plus to go into debt for 30 years for a project that, even you must admit, was highly questionable at the time considering the rules of RDA dissolution.

      Be that as it may I see a highly similar path here as decided by the judge that is also ruling on the 29 Palms case.

      Bottom line there were no enforceable contracts in place at the time of bond sales. To believe that the simple sale of bonds is an enforceable contract was naïve. The State has never said the city must defease the bonds it has simply asserted that we had no contracts in place to build the project they were destined for.

      To allow any former councilmember or present councilmember to escape accountability for a 30 year debt that we did not need would be a travesty should the city not prevail next month when the decision is rendered.

      There is plenty of ammunition in the bunker for the judge to rule along these same lines. We had a city council that somehow thought because they reconvened under a different name of successor agency that it would not be seen they were acting as if in fact they were still the RDA. They then engaged in an agreement with themselves as is the matter in this very case to approve matters that were not their business to further.

      The successor agencies job was to “wind down” the RDA not enhance or further it.

      To further show complicity the Oversight Board just simply rubber stamped whatever the city council/successor agency forwarded to them and they approved it when in fact their job was to absolutely stop all attempts to promulgate the former RDA if there were no enforceable contracts in place.

      There may come a time when the Piper will need to be paid.

      Well, those are my thoughts on the course of matters over the last few years. Not very rosy. But maybe the judge will decide for the city.

      My crystal ball is blurred – how is yours?

  2. Larry Briggs Larry Briggs says:

    A little fuzzy.

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