Judge sides with MAPF; dispute heads to state panel
The lawsuit brought against the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation by Tahoe Donner resident Harry Smith was stayed by a Nevada County judge at the Oct. 28 hearing.
Judge Ersel Edwards ruled against Smith’s suit because of a lack of evidence supporting his claim of irreparable harm, therefore denying application for a preliminary injunction. The court also ruled that Smith’s motion to advance the production date for discovery was premature.
MAPF attorney Tom Archer wrote in a press release that the defendants are “delighted with this victory and feel that the ruling supports their position – that they have done nothing improper throughout the campaign.”
The judge stayed the matter, advising the plaintiff to file a complaint with the Fair Political Practices Commission. According to Smith’s attorney, Bob Tamietti, the ruling was not unusual do to the “serious questions” raised by the law suit.
The suit seeks a mandatory injunction against MAPF, because Smith believed the group did not disclose all expenditures regarding the Measure M campaign, Tamietti said.
His suit also alleges the MAPF campaign committee is using MAPF to launder campaign contributions. It was his belief that monies collected are being donated to the campaign committee, thus eliminating reporting the original donor.
Tamietti said, “The lawsuit isn’t
over, it is just going to be presented in an administrative proceeding in front of a commission that is more knowledgeable with these matters.”
He said a complaint would be file with the commission next week, at which time he expects to wait close to six months for a hearing.
“This is election time and many suits like this one are filed with the commission,” he said. “I would be surprised if it was anytime sooner.”
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Motorists on Interstate 80 should expect delays today as the California Department of Transportation continues work on the $2.5 million Farad rockfall project.