Smith, Rodgers Ordered to Pay $40K in Legal Fees to Irvine for Politically Motivated Lawsuit

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.  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.  It was the law. A judge threw the case out.  And now Pat has to pay a lot of money I’m sure he’d rather have on hand for retirement.  Since Rodgers spent much of his own money on the campaign, the cost of the lawsuit has to sting even more.

  2 comments for “Smith, Rodgers Ordered to Pay $40K in Legal Fees to Irvine for Politically Motivated Lawsuit

  1. Ltpar
    April 5, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Dan, you are correct about the sting, but can a price be put on doing the right thing? My elected officials were doing things I perceived to be wrong. I attempted to right those wrongs within the legal system. The Judge did not agree and right, wrong or otherwise the system spoke. However, justice was not served was in penalizing Greg and I for questioning the actions of government. Contrary to Larry Agran’s excuse, this was not a political action, as the suit was filed in April, well in advance of the election. Additionally, anyone who knows me will attest that I have never been anyone’s stooge. I make no excuses and accept full responsibility for my actions. Am I happy about the outcome, not in the least. Is my conscience clear? You bet it is. One day, history will show that Greg Smith and I did the right thing and put our money where our mouth was.

  2. April 5, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Pat — you cost taxpayers — me — time and money to defend your politically motivated lawsuit. The city council has an attorney to advise them on when they need to conduct business in public or in executive session. It’s too bad Choi and Shea walk out of these sessions before they can hear all the facts.

    The suit was filed in April and was dismissed in late October. Perfect timing to be used for political purposes. You lost. And you caught a break because the local papers didn’t publish this tidbit until after election day so it didn’t have an impact on the election outcome.

    Are you and Smith stooges? Well how much financial support did Shea and Choi offer up then and how much did they come through with now that you lost? I don’t know Pat. I think stooge fits pretty well. Shea and Choi reap the benefits of the lawsuit and you’re stuck with a bill. And aren’t they the ones to complain about how city dollars are being spent? This was a politically motivated lawsuit designed to inflict harm on the ticket you ran against. And you lost. So is it Moe, Curley or Larry?

    History has already shown that you and Smith were wrong on this case. Unless you’d like to appeal and lose even more money….

    What’s not reported in the story is how much you and Smith will have to pay for your own legal bills. I have to guess you’re into it for another $20K Pat. If you want to be honest, why not let us know who put you up to this suit and what promises were made to you that weren’t kept.

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