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Advocacy group adds new claim to library lawsuit

Posted: February 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: February 16, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

Local advocacy group Save Our Library Inc. has added another claim in its lawsuit against the city: Santa Clarita officials are violating the state’s education code by creating a municipal library system.

The amended lawsuit alleges the city violated California’s Municipal Libraries Act by failing to appoint an independent board of trustees to oversee the new library system’s operations and finances.

The lawsuit was filed by attorney Don Ricketts.

The complaint is based on the Santa Clarita City Council’s Jan. 25 approval of an ordinance to establish a city library system to be managed by private library-management firm Library Systems & Services LLC, or LSSI.

The city ordinance mandates the establishment of a five-member board of library trustees, to be appointed by the mayor, but does not say when the city must establish the board of trustees.

In a letter written on behalf of Save Our Library to Brian Pierik, an attorney for the city, Ricketts reiterated Save Our Library’s demand that the city stop all payments to LSSI and revoke its contract with the company.

City Attorney Joe Montes could not be reached for comment on the updated lawsuit Tuesday afternoon.

In December, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge threw out Save Our Library’s initial lawsuit against the city, which alleged that granting a private company access to patrons’ personal information violates privacy laws.

The city faces an additional lawsuit from local library patron Ed Shain, which alleges that city leaders’ decision to contract with LSSI violates California’s open meeting law, the Ralph M. Brown Act.

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