Today by 9 am, briefs in the ongoing litigation between the City of Susanville and The Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for the announced closure of the California Correctional Center, CCC, are due back to the Judge.
During the August 26th proceedings, Judge Moody found significant evidence in a brief prepared by the City and supported by a document from City Administrator Dan Newton sharing information that a high-ranking CDCR employee was part of a Budget Highlights call on July 1st where CDCR staff admitted to their involvement in writing AB 200 that closes CCC in June of next year. As the Judge says, that involvement is “unconscionable” and presents an “extremely ugly situation.” Moody asked for both CDCR and the City to prove their arguments.
City Administrator Dan Newton says once briefs are filed, the City will be able to see what CDCR’s argument is, and from there, counsel may have to reconvene to take the next steps. Newton added Moody may submit a decision by writing and forego any further court proceedings based on his findings today.
This has been a significant change in the City’s case. Moody was initially prepared to dismiss the City’s writ as he agreed that CDCR had every right to remove CEQA requirements in closing the prison at any given point. Yet, CDCR’s likely involvement in writing AB 200 has brought a whole new angle to the case that could break new constitutional grounds.