MAPF balks at offer to settle suit
The Tahoe Donner resident who brought suit against the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation last week, is giving the foundation another chance-maybe.
In an open letter to MAPF (See Page 4), Harry Smith said he would drop the lawsuit “at no cost to MAPF” if it deliver copies of all the invoices and documents disclosing specific initiative costs to the Sierra Sun by 5 p.m. Oct. 13.
Smith’s suit seeks a mandatory injunction against MAPF, because he believed the group did not disclose all expenditures regarding the Measure M campaign, according to his attorney Robert Tamietti.
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.
Smith said he would save court time and MAPF money if the foundation disclosed the full amount of attorney’s fees, consultant fees and other costs paid to draft Measure M, to survey public opinion and to put the initiative on the ballot; the full amount of the cost to MAPF to prepare and place two full page ads in the Sierra Sun in April and May 1997; and the names of all people or businesses that donated any portion of the funds used to pay the above listed costs and the amounts of their donations.
On Wednesday, Oct. 8, Stefanie Olivieri, MAPF president, received a copy of Smith’s open letter through the Sierra Sun. In a press release received at publication deadline, MAPF rebutted Smith’s accusations of MAPF financial mismanagement.
According to MAPF’s press release:
“MAPF believes that this suit was filed with the intent of diffusing public concern over the 30-1 advantage in fundraising the C.A.R.E./Hopkins forces have enjoyed. We believe that it was no accident that this suit was filed at the same time that C.A.R.E./Hopkins disclosed their $117,000 campaign chest.
“If Mr. Smith were truly interested in saving the taxpayers’ money, both sides’ legal fees and valuable court time, he would not have filed this frivolous suit.
“MAPF and the Truckee Mountain Area Protection Campaign Committee are under no obligations under the guidelines of the Fair Political Practices Commission for such disclosure.
“If such a disclosure were required, The Hopkins Trust, The Hopkins-Boca Sierra Limited Partnership and C.A.R.E. would be equally required to disclose such information. They would be required to disclose any money spent on legal fees, consultants and paid political lobbyists over the last four years, in an effort to manipulate the system and influence the outcome of the general plan process.
“MAPF and the TMAPCC are confident that we have complied fully with the spirit and intent of the law. We look forward to providing any information requested by the court.
“The TMAPCC is committed to discussing the real issues of this ballot measure in a public forum. We believe that the citizens of Truckee deserve an honest focus on the issues. We do not believe that it serves the public interest to confuse the issues with media grandstanding designed to muddy the waters.”
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