Every election cycle in Irvine, Christina Shea’s camp — like clockwork — manages to find some stooge to file a politically motivated lawsuit against the City Council majority and, notably, Larry Agran. Â Shea, who on this blog once claimed “she’s not a rich woman,” always manages to find someone else to foot the bill.
This time, former Council member Greg Smith (who’s lost to Agran in court before and should know better) and former Council candidate Pat Rodgers have been ordered to pay more than $40,000 in court costs to the City and Maguire Properties for a lawsuit the pair filed last year claiming the council majority reached a backroom deal on a Park Place project in the Irvine Business Complex.
A judge threw out the case in early November, something neither the Orange County Register or Irvine World News reported in print until well after election day for those with short memories.
From Sean Emery’s story in today’s Register:
Rodgers worried the financial impact of the courts decision could have a chilling effect on residents looking to challenge council decisions.
“My trying to be a good citizen cost a good chunk of money,” Rodgers said. “That doesn’t bode well for future people seeing the city government doing wrong things. If you cross Larry Agran, you pay the pound of flesh.”
But Agran argued that the court ruling would only deter frivolous suits.
“If it is a deterrent to others who are inclined to play politics with the courts and the taxpayer’s money, I hope they will think twice,” Agran said.
What Pat doesn’t get here is that it isn’t Larry Agran he lost to. Â It was the law. A judge threw the case out. Â And now Pat has to pay a lot of money I’m sure he’d rather have on hand for retirement. Â Since Rodgers spent much of his own money on the campaign, the cost of the lawsuit has to sting even more.