Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Asshole sells out

And I don't mean that in a bad way... Saratoga lawyer Aaron Katz has dropped his crusade on behalf of the rights of absentee landlords, taking $200,000 of El Camino Hospital's money and running to sue someone else instead. The gist of his argument is that elections for parcel taxes and bond measures are inherently unconstitutional because they allow residents rather than property owners to vote on issues that affect property.

If you thought that dispute had been settled by centuries' worth of advances in the field of voting rights, you're not alone. Nor are you right, judging from Superior Court Judge Kevin McKenney's refusal to throw the case out and risk being overturned on appeal. Katz still has cases pending against Mountain View-Whisman and two other school districts. In his e-mail quoted at the end of the Voice article linked above, he appears to threaten a suit against Foothill-De Anza.

The two sides aren't saying how they arrived at $200,000 in this case. Clearly, Katz's suit was costing the hospital an order of magnitude more than that. However, since he represents himself, it's difficult to figure his legal bills, or his tax liability, were anywhere close to this high. All I can say is that I hope one day somebody offers me $200,000 just to leave them alone.


Paul said...

Is that Judge McKenny's motivation? Afraid of being overturned on appeal? Says who?

Nemesis of Evil said...

I assume his motivation is to do what he thinks is right, and I didn't mean to imply otherwise. Judges typically don't talk to the press, so I don't really have any good insight here.

I do know a lot of people who think he is either being wimpy or trying to make a name for himself. I'm really not sure what to think -- the one time I covered one of his court hearings (in the Mountain View-Whisman case), McKenney told Katz that he thought he was unlikely to win. Then again, that was a year and a half ago.