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Eyes on 11 Whistleblower

Council Could Decide Thursday on Appeal in Voting Rights Lawsuit

Bob Kronovetrealty
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By Lookout Staff

February 19, 2019 -- The City Council could decide at a special meeting on Thursday whether to appeal last week's Superior Court ruling in a voting rights case filed by Latino plaintiffs.

The Council will take public comment at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 1685 Main Street, then meet in closed session for a conference with legal counsel.

The Council will then convene in public to report any decision that may have been taken.

The special meeting takes place one week after Superior Court Judge Yvette M. Palazuelos issued a final ruling last Wednesday that found the City had violated the California Voting Rights Act ("Judge Orders Special District Elections for Council in Final Ruling," February 15, 2019).

She also ruled that the City had deliberately discriminated against minority voters by refusing to implement district elections in 1946 and 1992.

In her final ruling, Palenzuelos ordered a special district-based election on July 2 for all seven council seats based on a map submitted by the plaintiffs.

Candidates not elected through district-based elections "are prohibited from serving" after August 15, according to the ruling issued Wednesday and received by both parties on Friday.

Throughout the case has insisted it has not violated the law and did not submit a remedy.

"The City is now considering all options, including an appeal," according to a statement issued Friday by Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr. from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, one of the lawyers representing the City.

"As we have said from the outset, this case presents significant legal issues of first impression that California’s appellate courts will need to resolve," Boutrous said.

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