City officials have decided to appeal two court decisions last year that invalidated a redevelopment district along Firestone Boulevard and required the city to pay $218,000 in lawyers' fees.
The decisions by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Norman R. Dowds benefitted Downey CARES, a residents' group that filed suit against the city's redevelopment plans. The judge made his decisions after finding that James Santangelo, the councilman who cast the deciding vote to create the redevelopment district in July, 1984, had a conflict of interest because he owned property in the district. The judge also found that the city did not follow state law that called for appointing a residents' committee to review the proposed district before it was enacted.
The city filed the appeals with the Second District Court of Appeal last week, said Paul Gale, a Newport Beach lawyer hired by the city.
Paul Sarvis, Downey CARES president, said in an interview that city officials filed the appeals because they wanted to delay paying the $218,000. Gale, however, said the city was seeking to overturn the judge's decisions, which, he said, were in error.