Attorney Lindsay Fischer said this morning that he intends to appeal District Court Judge Scott Sells’ decision to dismiss his suit against the city.
“I suppose if someone came into the office and held a gun to my head and said ‘don’t appeal,’ I wouldn’t,” Fischer said, “but otherwise I’m going ahead.”
Fischer sued to prevent the city from mortgaging the Police Operations Center and Fire Station No. 8, so it could give the proceeds to the United States Olympic Committee.
In his suit, Fischer contended that by doing so the city would create de facto, long-term debt, and that such debt could not be issued without voter approval.
Sells rejected Fischer’s claims yesterday and threw out the suit.
Vice Mayor Larry Small said the city intends to proceed with the sale of the certificates of participation before a deadline to do so approaches.
“I think that we have until Friday, the 25th,” Small said, “and all of the paperwork is ready to go.”
Fischer said he’s “very disappointed” with Sell’s decision and questioned how much consideration he gave it.
“I find it difficult to believe that the judge gave consideration to the very lengthy brief I filed at 3:59 pm. yesterday. His ruling came out today at 2:51 p.m.,” he said in a written statement.
The statement went on to say:
“The ruling in effect says that a city can, at any time, without an election, sell and leaseback its most critical asset to its public facilities authority, staffed by city employees, and the pubic facilities authority can then mortgage the facility to the investors which buy the COPs.
Then the facilities authority gives the money to the city which uses it for any purpose it may chose and to benefit any person whom it may chose.
The opportunity for corruption is so obvious. Now it is the USOC. Tomorrow who knows?
I can’t believe that any precedent authorizes what the judge says it does. The limits have to be that a city can use no-election COPs only for a governmental purpose and put a mortgage only on the governmental improvement that the money is buying. In fact these are the facts and thus the limits in the two cases cited by the city and relied on by the judge.
Frankly, I disagree with the trial court, I think the matter is of great significance, and I believe that I may file a notice of appeal tomorrow morning with a notice of lis pendens disclosing the appeal.”
Fischer noted that the notice of lis pendens, which he had previously filed, remains in force in any case. The Latin phrase, literally translated, means “a pending lawsuit.” Such notices are usually filed in connection with lawsuits that may affect title to real property.