(April 18, 2002) -- LB Mayoral candidate Norm Ryan has filed a legal action seeking to compel LB City Hall to place his name on the June, 2002 Mayoral ballot.
Mr. Ryan's lawyers filed papers that drew responsive court appearances this morning from the City Attorney's office and separate, privately retained lawyers for Mayor Beverly O'Neill and Vice Mayor Dan Baker.
Today's hearing set April 25 as the date for a high stakes, showdown hearing before L.A. Superior Court Judge Dzintra Janavs who will be faced with three differing interpretations of city law as applied to LB's April 9 election results.
In that election, O'Neill (prevented from having her name on the ballot by term limits and waging a permissible a write-in campaign) finished first. Baker and Ryan were the top two vote getters among non-term limited Mayoral candidates with Baker finishing ahead of Ryan. (For the City Clerk's April 18 final tally, which includes roughly 3,000 previously uncounted provisional and absentee ballots, click here.)
The parties' three differing positions are basically as follows:
Ryan contends that as one of the top two non-term limited candidates, he and Baker should have their names appear on the ballot, while O'Neill can run another write-in campaign but cannot have her name printed on the ballot under LB's term limits law.
LB's City Attorney agrees that O'Neill cannot have her name printed on the ballot under LB's term limits law, but says Ryan's name cannot be printed on the ballot because he finished third among all Mayoral candidates.
O'Neill's lawyer (responding to Ryan's suit, not initiating
litigation on O'Neill's bahalf) indicated their camp would argue that conflicts in city law should be harmonized to permit first place finisher O'Neill's name to appear on the ballot with Baker because she and Baker finished first and second, but Ryan's name should not appear because he finished third.
The case is being heard by Judge Dzintra Janavs, who in October, 2000 ordered LB City Hall to stop including pro-utility tax material in consumers' utility bills just prior to the election on Mr. Ryan's Prop J utility tax cut measure.
Earlier this year, Judge Janavs issued a sweeping ruling upholding LB City Hall's actions taken in approving expansion of the North Division LBPD facility into roughly two acres of Scherer Park.