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BREA : Claim Says Council Wronged Developer

McBride Development Co. has filed a claim against the city, alleging that the City Council failed to fulfill its legal obligations when it abruptly shut down negotiations for a project along Brea Boulevard.

Seeking an unspecified amount of damages, the claim contends that the council did not give owner Don McBride proper notice of its decision, thereby violating state open meeting laws, which guarantee the public prior knowledge of actions taken by government bodies.

“McBride was deprived of proper notice of the agency’s intention to reach the decisions it reached. . . . The agency has interfered with McBride’s prospective economic advantage through the development of the project,” the claim states.

Earlier this month, the council voted to stop negotiating with McBride after it was revealed that Councilman Ron Isles had a business relationship with the company’s owner. Fearful that Isles could have a conflict of interest, the council immediately shut off all talks.

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The action followed nearly a year of talks between the city and McBride Development that resulted in McBride being granted exclusive rights to negotiate with the city for the development of the 7.5-acre parcel. McBride says that he had put more than $100,000 into the project when the contract was terminated and that he had 60% of the commercial site leased out.

The district attorney’s office is investigating the transaction to see if formal charges will be filed against Isles for his participation. Isles, a partner of McBride’s in a prior business relation, has said he had no ties to the Brea development project and denies any wrongdoing.

The City Council will be given an opportunity to reject the claim, after which McBride can file a formal suit in court.


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