Ontario International Airport

Ontario is going to court seeking more documents from Los Angeles regarding Ontario International Airport. The city of Ontario is aiming for local control of the facility, which is run by Los Angeles World Airports. (File photo by Jennifer Cappuccio Maher/Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 01/15/15, 4:04 PM PST | Updated: 11 hrs ago

RIVERSIDE >> Los Angeles officials underestimated the effectiveness of Ontarios lobbying efforts in 2011, and were in disarray by the former mayor’s inability to decide whether to sell L.A./Ontario International Airport, documents released on Thursday revealed.

In an email exchange, Gina Marie Lindsey, executive director of Los Angeles World Airports, expressed frustration to an airport board member that then Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa “needs to give a straight answer on whether he is willing to sell ONT.” The vacuum, Lindsey complained, was allowing Ontario “to control the messaging” for local control. LAWA, a Los Angeles city agency, operates the Ontario airport.

“So the reality is that my objective of conserving exec time and attention has evaporated and now I and my team are spending stupid time just trying to put our ‘fingers in the dike’ on damage control — and losing the battle,” she wrote on Dec. 29, 2011.

The two cities will be back in court this morning as Ontario seeks additional documents — like the email exchange — in connection with Ontario’s suit to regain control of ONT.
Ontario claims Los Angeles failed to comply with a court order by reclassifying 399 documents under attorney-client privilege.

Ontario’s attorney, Andre Cronthall, said the 3,100 documents previously provided by Los Angeles have revealed key facts for depositions in the suit, filed in 2013.
“We are in the middle of conducting expert depositions, and the withheld documents are relevant to those depositions,” Cronthall wrote in an email to Los Angeles’ attorney on Wednesday.
Joshua Stambaugh, attorney for Los Angeles, told attorneys for Ontario in an email that when the 399 documents were reviewed, “we discovered that some were also subject to the attorney-client privilege, but had inadvertently been omitted on the original privilege log.”

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