From the City of Lafayette:
LAFAYETTE, CALIF., July 23, 2020—The California Supreme Court has denied a Petition for Review filed by a small group of Lafayette residents who had alleged that the City Council improperly held closed session meetings and violated the California Constitution.
The Supreme Court’s denial of the petition affirms the First District Court of Appeal’s decision to uphold the City of Lafayette’s trial court victory in the case, Fowler v. City of Lafayette.
The case was brought by group of residents who alleged that the City had used a biased process in reaching a land-use decision in 2016. The Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s findings that the City Council’s closed sessions were justified and that the decision was based on a fair, thorough process.
The Court of Appeal found that the City committed a minor technical violation of the Brown Act but that no prejudice resulted from it and it had no impact on the City Council’s decision. In its order, the Court found there was no evidence that anyone at the City of Lafayette – councilmembers, staff, or the City Attorney – was biased.
“We are very pleased that the Supreme Court has denied the Petition for Review and that our trial court victory stands,” said Lafayette Mayor Mike Anderson. “The unfortunate outcome, frankly, is that the legal fees to defend the City against this lawsuit have cost Lafayette taxpayers so much,” added Mayor Anderson.
Legal fees to defend against the lawsuit cost City of Lafayette taxpayers $936,319.08.
A link to the Register of Actions identifying the Supreme Court’s decision can be found HERE.