News


Court blocks Schwarzenegger's plan to sell 11 state buildings--for now

Lawsuit claims sale to private investors would be illegal, unconstitutional

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office has been ordered to hold off on the planned $2.3 billion sale of 11 state buildings until a hearing can be held next month.

The order comes after two former state officials sued the governor on Nov. 16 for trying to sell the buildings, which include San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission Building and Civic Center buildings, and Oakland's Elihu Harris Building.

"We think the judge did the right thing today," Anne Marie Murphy, an attorney suing the governor, said. "This is no different than our state Capitol building being put up for sale to the highest bidder."

The lawsuit claims the sale to a group of private investors, due to be completed in mid-December, is illegal and unconstitutional. It alleges the sale will cost taxpayers at least millions and possibly a billion dollars in the long-term.

Schwarzenegger's attorneys will have to show why the sale is legal and a good idea in a hearing on Dec. 10.

Officials at Schwarzenegger's office said that the building sales would bring in substantial revenue for the state.

"Once the sales close we'll generate more than $1 billion to support the state budget," said Eric Lamoureux, spokesman for the state Department of General Services.

He said he could not comment on the lawsuit, but said that the state was moving forward with escrow on the buildings, which is expected to close on Dec. 15.

The plaintiffs in the case are former Los Angeles State Building Authority President Jerry Epstein and authority member Redmond Doms, who were reportedly fired by Schwarzenegger this spring after they objected to the sale.

Their lawsuit has two legal claims.

First, it alleges the sale of two court buildings violates a law giving the California Judicial Council authority and control over state appeals court facilities. The second claim is that the sale amounts to an unconstitutional gift of public funds.

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mortgage our future
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:14 am

"Selling" and then renting back public property is just another "creative" financing scheme to burden our kids and grandkids with costs that we should be facing.
We should live within our means.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: *

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Duck!
By Tom Cushing | 25 comments | 1,437 views

The Giving Season
By Roz Rogoff | 3 comments | 948 views

Thanksgiving Transfer Fever!
By Elizabeth LaScala | 0 comments | 618 views

Thankful season for ValleyCare
By Tim Hunt | 0 comments | 487 views