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Residents cry foul on Ferry, Ender

Claims of bias in hospital issues

Posted: September 9, 2008 9:23 p.m.
Updated: November 11, 2008 5:00 a.m.

About a dozen Valencia residents and community activists Tuesday night accused Councilwoman Laurie Ender and Councilman Frank Ferry of bias views on the controversial plans to expand Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.

Though the topic was not listed on the council's agenda, the residents filled up the meeting's public comment period with demands that the two council members recuse themselves from voting on the matter at a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 23.

Representing Smart Growth SCV, attorney Robert Glushon wrote in a letter handed to council members, "The record created by Council member Ferry, taken in conjunction with new council member Laurie Ender, evidences a degree of bias which rise above any acceptable parameters known to local city government would deny our client a fair process and a fair hearing in this case."

Ferry's statements at prior council meetings show Ferry has already made up his mind, the letter said.
It also said the $30,000 contribution from G&L Realty that paid for campaign mailers supporting Ender is evidence she is bias since the developer owns and manages medical buildings on the hospital campus.

"These actions are a blot and a blemish on the good governance of the SCV, a city founded to provide citizens with fair representation," said David Gauny, who heads up citizens group Smart Growth SCV.
City Attorney Carl Newton said it would only be considered bias if the council members made a firm decision on the matter before voting.

"I've reviewed this letter and all of the statements or comments and I do not believe those comments serve to establish that any council member has taken a position for or against the project," Newton said.

"There has been an expression of strong feelings or statements related to the project, but ... all the council members must review all the evidence before making a decision and it appears the council members have done that."


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