Landfill Proponents Filed Form on Time

Hours after critics sent a complaint to the district attorney's office, proponents of a March ballot initiative that would pave the way for a 551-acre landfill in Weldon Canyon showed officials Tuesday that they have already complied with state law by filing a statement of organization.

Until Tuesday, the county's elections division had not received confirmation that the document had been filed.

State law requires that an organization file such a statement within 10 days after it has qualified a measure for the ballot and raised an initial $1,000. The county notified Ventura Citizens for Environmental Solutions on Oct. 13 that the measure had made the ballot.

Initiative opponents contended that Taconic Resources, the Del Mar investment firm backing the initiative, had delayed filing the statement to conceal key campaign information. An opposition group, Coalition to Stop Weldon Canyon Dump, sent a letter Tuesday to Dist. Atty. Michael D. Bradbury urging him to investigate whether the initiative proponents had violated the California Fair Political Practices Act.

But Deanna Liebergot, the San Diego-based treasurer of the pro-initiative group Ventura Citizens for Environmental Solutions, said her group filed the statement of organization with the secretary of state in Sacramento on Aug. 11. Liebergot said the secretary of state's office later lost the paperwork.

The secretary of state's office could not confirm that any paperwork from the group had been lost but said records show a statement had been filed Oct. 3.

"Assuming the date is correct, which we have no reason to question, as it is sworn under penalty of perjury, they are not in violation," said Bruce Bradley, the county's assistant registrar of voters.

Taconic Resources already spent more than $335,000 in 1994 on a failed attempt to put the landfill issue on last November's ballot. A judge declared the measure invalid, saying it was an "egregious attempt" by the company to acquire land-use rights for private gain.

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