A state appeals court has upheld a lower court decision that invalidated an expansion of Downey's redevelopment district, finding that a councilman had a conflict of interest when he voted to approve the 1984 expansion.
In its Monday decision, the 2nd District Court of Appeal found that Councilman James S. Santangelo should not have voted on the 386-acre expansion because he owned property in the expansion area and in the city's original 125-acre redevelopment district.
A group of property owners called Downey CARES sued the city to block expansion of the redevelopment district along Firestone Boulevard. The appellate court also affirmed an award of $218,221 in attorney fees.
Santangelo, who remains on the council, was later charged by the Los Angeles district attorney with misdemeanor conflict of interest and is to be tried Jan. 4.