Sunday, April 10, 2005

Wrong Again, P. J.

There are actually too many factual errors in P J Lassek's coverage of City Hall to ever address. However, one popped up in her puff piece for today's Sunday World.

Ms. Lassek writes,

"The [F&M Bank] project has been controversial since the day the bank sought to rezone the site, which lies in Medlock's council district.

"A judge ruled in favor of the bank's rezoning, despite arguments by protesters that Jackere and other city attorneys unfairly handled a 2003 protest petition that could have stopped the development. The protesters are appealing the judge's ruling."
This is misleading journalism at its best. What the judge ruled on, was an argument put forth by Tulsa's legal eagles, which said in essence, "since the city's charter has no language that expressly allows for the super-majority ordinance [that pre-dates the charter], that any ordinance requiring such, should be determined null and void."

I may be light on the legalese, but that's pretty much the argument.

However, Ms. Lassek leads the reader to believe that the judge in the case ruled on the merits of the home owner's lawsuit, which is not true.

Interim City Attorney Allen Jackere forgot that his primary duty is to defend Tulsa's charter and his second duty is to defend Tulsa's ordinances. In order to win a 5 to 4 zoning case, Mr. Jackere weakend the charter and destroyed an ordinance that gave to Tulsa home owners, the same protections that every other citizen of Oklahoma enjoys.

Winning on a technical argument regarding the validity of the underlying ordinance is a far cry from winning on the merits of the case. Should the Oklahoma Supreme Court send the case back to district court, I'm confident that the home owners will prevail.

Get the facts right, P. J.

No comments: