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Whittier : Court to Decide Damages for City's Improper Fee

January 06, 1994

A Superior Court judge is expected to decide Friday how much Whittier must pay for charging improper fees to the former owner of one of the city's larger shopping centers. The penalty is expected to be at least $350,000, officials said.

A Los Angeles Superior Court jury earlier found that Whittier improperly charged Golden West Properties $350,000 for a letter advising the Beverly Hills-based developer on sales tax liability. The letter should have been provided free, the jury ruled.

At the time, Golden West was in the process of selling the Whittier Quad, a 32-acre Whittier-area shopping complex, to Schurgin Development, a Los Angeles-based company, for an estimated $17 million, Whittier City Manager Tom Mauk said. The letter stated that Golden West was not responsible for paying taxes on the sale of the shopping center, commonly called The Quad.

City officials contend they did not charge Golden West for the letter. They said the $350,000 was paid to the city as part of a complex contractual arrangement with the developer. The city will appeal the verdict, Mauk said.

The hearing at 8:30 a.m. Friday before Judge Ernest Williams in Los Angeles is to determine how much money the city may owe Golden West in interest and attorney's fees, in addition to repayment of the $350,000.

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