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Lawsuit filed against Richmond casino deal

25 May 2007

RICHMOND, California -- As reported by the Berkeley Daily Planet: "A last-minute lawsuit filed this week alleges the Richmond City Council violated state environmental law by signing a $310.4 million contract to provide services for a North Richmond casino.

"The action followed by five weeks a critical state appellate ruling voiding a municipal services agreement in Amador County.

"In that lawsuit, the court held that by approving a service agreement for a project extensively detailed in the agreement, the Plymouth City Council had acted in breach of its obligation to first conduct a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) review.

"The court held that the council's approval of the agreement constituted an approval of the project itself, the same claim made in the Richmond suit.

"...The lawsuit filed Monday seeks a writ ordering the city and councilmembers to void the agreement, a judicial ruling declaring the agreement unlawful, and a restraining order and eventual permanent injunction barring further attempts to have the federal government declare the land a reservation or implement the contract pending completion of a review of the proposal under CEQA.

"Challenging the agreement is a coalition consisting of the Parchester Village Neighborhood Council, environmentalist Whitney Dotson, who also serves as president of the neighborhood council, Citizens for East Shore Parks (CESP) and the recently formed SPRAWLDEF (the Sustainability, Parks, Recycling and Wildlife Legal Defense Fund)..."

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