Ontario

By Liset Marquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 02/03/15, 3:10 PM PST | Updated: 3 hrs ago

The decades-old agreement that gave Los Angeles control of L.A./Ontario International Airport was never valid, Ontario’s attorneys claim in a response filed Tuesday in Riverside Superior Court.

The filing disputes a tentative ruling by Judge Gloria Connor Trask in which Trask validated the 1967 joint-powers agreement that initially turned over the control of ONT to L.A.

Trask also found that Ontario had an opportunity to rescind a later 1985 agreement that turned the deed over to L.A. due to legal missteps that did not comply with the government code, but the city waited too long to exercise such an option.

In a nine-page response, Ontario’s attorney Andre Cronthall argues that the four-year statue of limitations mentioned in Trask’s decision does not apply and asks that she overturn the tentative ruling. Ontario has requested a hearing on the issue Feb. 18.

“Ontario never considered this to be a valid sale, (the 1985 agreement) should be invalid because it didn’t follow the rules,” he said. “It’s not valid, doesn’t matter how much time goes by.”

The court found the transfer of the airport was deemed a sale.

Cronthall noted that Trask agreed with Ontario on a key premise of the argument — Ontario questioned the validity of the 30-year-old acquisition because it was being classified by L.A. as a sale, but that a sale would have required a public vote.

Cronthall cites several cases in which the California Supreme Court and the courts of appeal have found that a contract could be voided because of failure to notify the public.

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