To the editor: As a one-time employee of a state regulatory agency and a lawyer for nearly 40 years, I am appalled by the inconsistent explanations by our attorney general’s office and the apparent lack of accountability of our California Coastal Commission members for improper and undisclosed ex parte communications with wealthy coastal property owners and developers.
How the attorney general’s office can say it is defending the commissioners individually for actions taken in their official capacity, then pin the blame on the commission and not the commissioners who were found guilty of these improper contacts, and then seek legal fees against the watchdog group that was protecting the public’s interest, is beyond understanding.
Whether I ever cast another vote for Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra will depend entirely on whether he is able to sort this mess out and remember that the public is his client, not wealthy coastal developers.
Gordon J. Louttit, Manhattan Beach
To the editor: The two commissioners who are still serving should resign for their unethical conduct, and all five of the current and former commissioners who must pay fines should also have to pay the legal fees of the organization that sued them in the public’s interest. Taxpayers should not have to cover these costs.
When I called Becerra’s office months ago about this case, I was told it does not discuss pending litigation. It was a terrible response, and I told them so. Now, I am disappointed that the attorney general’s office is is pursuing an appeal.
I like Becerra and have voted for him many times, but I am not going to vote to reelect him in November. If the actions of his office make taxpayers responsible for covering the legal fees in question, how is that any better than what’s happening in Washington?
Loren Mark, Los Angeles