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L.A. County resident files suit over millions spent by county supervisors

May 11, 2010 |  7:00 am

A Long Beach resident has filed a civil lawsuit alleging that county supervisors broke the law when they spent millions of taxpayer dollars on pet projects without a public vote or discussion.

“Elected public servants, such as the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, have a responsibility to conduct the people’s business in public and to spend public funds wisely,” said Glen Golightly, a screenwriter. “The spending of these funds is done with little or no oversight and violates the Brown Act among other California laws.”

Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley briefly examined the supervisors’ discretionary accounts earlier this year before deciding not to file charges against the supervisors alleging they violated the state open-meetings law.

Golightly’s attorney, Paul Heidenreich, said his suit would be more successful because his client was pursuing a civil—not criminal—action. 

Last year, Heidenreich won a $172-million settlement for plaintiffs from the county to end a class-action lawsuit involving an illegal utility tax paid for years by nearly 400,000 residents and businesses in unincorporated areas.

“Maybe the supervisors will just bring this practice to a stop and start doing the people’s business in public. If not, we’ll be at this for years,” Heidenreich said.

-- Garrett Therolf