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California IN BRIEF : SAN FRANCISCO : Lungren to Stay Out of Wetlands Case

December 25, 1991|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren, stepping back from his predecessor's position, won't support a federal appeal that seeks to bar damages for Florida property owners who were refused permission to develop wetlands. The San Francisco Daily Journal said then-Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp had expressed interest last year in supporting the federal government's position in the Florida case, citing similar wetlands cases in California. But Lungren, Republican successor to the Democratic Van de Kamp, has decided not to enter the case, the newspaper said. Chief Assistant Atty. Gen. Roderick Walston said the decision was "absolutely not" based on ideology. He said the Florida case was "very specific to the situation in Florida" and noted that Lungren's office, like other state agencies, is short of funds. Tim Searchinger, an Environmental Defense Fund lawyer in New York, called the case extremely important and said his group is filing papers supporting the government's position.

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