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Foes to Deliver Riley Recall Papers : Similar Allegations Against Wieder Also Being Readied

Times Urban Affairs Writer

Recall organizers said Tuesday they will formally accuse Supervisor Thomas F. Riley of “malfeasance” in office when they personally serve him today with a legally required notice of allegations.

The formal, 168-word notice will also include allegations that Riley has voted for too much development, denying his constituents “the enjoyment of their neighborhoods,” recall organizers said.

Tom Rogers of San Juan Capistrano, a co-author of the slow-growth initiative on the June 7 ballot, said recall supporters would deliver the official allegations to Riley at today’s Board of Supervisors meeting.

Rogers also said an official notice of allegations would be delivered either today or at next week’s board session to Supervisors Chairman Harriett M. Wieder, who is also a recall target. The wording of allegations against her was not immediately available.

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Rogers announced the recall efforts two weeks ago, after Riley, Wieder and Supervisor Don R. Roth joined in a 3-2 vote to approve a contract in which the Irvine Co. agreed to pay for road improvements for the company’s planned Laguna Laurel project in Laguna Canyon in exchange for protection from future changes in county land-use policy--including any resulting from the slow-growth initiative.

The Laguna Canyon Conservancy, battling to keep development out of the canyon, is forming a political action committee with several other groups to gather signatures for the recall.

Rogers said the recall notice against Riley alleges “malfeasance and misfeasance” and “dereliction of state-mandated duty.”

He said it also states that Riley has “consistently voted in favor of the building industry over the right of residents of the 5th District to the peaceful enjoyment of their neighborhoods.”

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While specific wording may be subject to last-minute changes, Rogers said the notice also includes these allegations:

* Riley “approved a contract between the county and the developers, which will destroy the irreplaceable natural beauty and tranquility of Laguna Canyon without adequate compensation to the county or its residents.”

* “In the past year (Riley) approved 19 similar contracts, which will add 62,000 additional residential units and 45 million square feet of commercial and industrial development, causing a further breakdown of already-overburdened public facilities.”

* Riley “approved language in these agreements which makes the county liable for the legal defense of the builders and developers who will reap immense profits from the contracts.”

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* Riley “voted to prohibit the county from defending itself and its citizens from a lawsuit filed by the Building Industry Assn. intended to deprive all citizens from their right to vote on the Citizens’ Sensible Growth and Traffic Control Initiative.”

Riley said Tuesday he had not heard about the allegations.

“I don’t want you to read them to me,” Riley said, “because then you’d want me to discuss each one, and I don’t want to do that.”

Recall targets have 10 days to respond to allegations against them before their opponents can proceed to the next legal steps against them.

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