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Appeals court stalls sale of state buildings

The controversial sale of 11 state properties was stalled Monday when a California appeals court issued a stay of the transaction, likely delaying it until January.

Opponents of the sell-off, who had lost in Superior Court on Friday, cheered the decision.

“This is a great day for the people of the state of California,” said attorney Joseph Cotchett. He called the transaction, in which the state would lease back office space in the buildings they are selling, a bad deal for taxpayers.

The delay means that the future of the sale may ultimately rest in the hands of Gov.-elect Jerry Brown. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has been the sale’s biggest booster.

Eric Lamorureax, a spokesman for the state Department of General Services, said the state’s lawyers were still determining their options.

“Our singular focus all along has been to finalize this transaction … to raise revenues that are desparately needed by the state,” he said. The sale, if completed, would generate $1.2 billion for the cash-strapped state this year.

-- Maria La Ganga and Shane Goldmacher

 
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