El Monte found itself in one of those good news/bad news situations last week regarding the long-suffering El Monte Transit Village project, a mixed-use project slated for the area around the El Monte Station (which is currently getting an upgrade). The good news: a federal judge dismissed an $18 million lawsuit brought by TV, LLC against the city in connection with the project, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. The lawsuit alleged that the city illegally severed its contract with the company after the company's former executives were arrested in 2009 on suspicion of forgery and embezzlement. Charges were never brought against the suspects, and the company subsequently went bankrupt. But in light of the scandal, El Monte proceeded with a scaled-back project proposal in 2010, dubbed El Monte Gateway.
Now the bad news you've all been waiting for: immediately after the federal judge dismissed the TV, LLC lawsuit, San Gabriel Valley-based MV Properties, Inc., filed an appeal of that dismissal in the hopes of winning the project themselves. That seems like a confusing tactic, here's an explanation: "Attorney Robert Aronson says MV Properties has the right to the rights of the $18 million lawsuit because his bid - $300,000 - is three times as high as what El Monte agreed to pay. Because the settlement was negotiated in bankruptcy court, and the lawsuit is considered an asset of TV, LLC, it should go to the highest bidder, Aronson says." (For the record, El Monte has already "spent more than $1.3 million and 5,500 man hours in its legal fight with the development companies.")
· Federal judge dismisses TV, LLC lawsuit against El Monte over Transit Village project [San Gabriel Valley Tribune]
· Buried Car Delays El Monte Bus Station and Ups the Pricetag [Curbed LA]