The City Council Wednesday approved spending $50,000 for a lawsuit against Orange County over the planned expansion of the county's Theo Lacy branch jail.
The county Board of Supervisors voted Dec. 2 to expand Lacy from a current inmate population of about 800 to a maximum of 1,437 prisoners by adding four new buildings.
The city opposed the expansion, saying it had done its fair share to help the county solve its jail-overcrowding problem and alleging that the county's environmental impact report on the expansion was inadequate.
In an attempt to head off the lawsuit, the supervisors cut back the size of the expansion, which was originally planned to boost the maximum inmate count to 1,737. The board also agreed not to lodge maximum-security inmates in the jail in Orange.
City officials said they expect to file the lawsuit soon. The $50,000 will be used to pay for a private attorney hired to assist the city in its fight with the county.