Tahoe Donner resident files suit against MAPF
A lawsuit against the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation and its campaign committee was filed in Nevada County Superior Court earlier this month by a “concerned citizen who lives in Tahoe Donner.”
Harry L. Smith filed the lawsuit, which seeks a mandatory injunction against MAPF, because he believes the group did not disclose all expenditures regarding the Measure M campaign, according to his attorney Robert Tamietti.
Smith is a Tahoe Donner resident and former member of that subdivision’s homeowners board of directors.
“Harry Smith filed a complaint under the Political Reform Act seeking a mandatory injunction ordering MAPF and the campaign committee to amend campaign disclosures to show all expenditures and register MAPF as a political committee,” Tamietti said.
The suit also alleges the campaign committee is using MAPF to launder campaign contributions. Specifically, monies collected by MAPF are being donated to the campaign committee, thus eliminating reporting the original donor.
“We are seeking an order of the court of full disclosure,” Tamietti said.
A hearing is set Thursday, Oct. 16, at Truckee Municipal Court at 1:30 p.m. when a visiting judge from Nevada City will be on the bench.
MAPF President Stefanie Olivieri characterized the lawsuit as an attempt to discredit and discourage the non-profit organization, and said it is a common tactic employed by developers to keep the community from objecting to projects.
Insulted by allegations
“Every penny has been accounted for and we are not concerned that there is any hint of impropriety,” Olivieri said. “We are insulted at these claims. This campaign is being run on a shoestring and we are doing everything we can to inform the public with very little money.”
In terms of MAPF laundering money for its campaign committee, Olivieri said nothing could be further from the truth. She said MAPF did pay consulting and legal fees to draft the initiative and place it on the ballot, which is completely legal. But after the initiative was filed, MAPF has taken a monetary hands-off position.
“Once the initiative was filed we are required to handle all expenses from a campaign committee,” Olivieri said. “We formed a campaign committee – The Truckee Mountain Area Protection Committee – at the time we were required to.
“MAPF has paid nothing to the campaign committee and has received nothing from the committee since the initiative was filed.”
Olivieri said she has been in contact with her attorneys – Shute, Mahaly and Weinberger in San Francisco – and the firm is reviewing the allegations.
“This won’t discourage us and we will continue with our efforts,” she said. “And we will respond to any request for information posed during the lawsuit.”
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