City hires counsel for expected by-district election litigation

Santa Clarita City Hall, as pictured on February, 26, 2020, is located on the 23900 block of Valencia Blvd. Dan Watson/The Signal

City of Santa Clarita officials confirmed Tuesday that they have hired a law firm to represent the city in expected litigation over “at-large” City Council elections.  

Carrie Lujan, a spokeswoman for the city, confirmed that the city had hired the law firm Gibson Dunn, an international firm that is representing the city of Santa Monica in its own case at the state Supreme Court level regarding at-large voting and the California Voting Rights Act.  

No litigation has yet been filed by Scott Rafferty, the Walnut Creek lawyer representing a group of clients — who he has so far refused to identify — advocating for the change to by-district elections.  

Pico Neighborhood Association and Maria Loya v. City of Santa Monica in the matter of the California Voting Rights Act is before the California Supreme Court, but has yet to be decided upon. 

Although not stipulating a specific amount of time he would wait to file his litigation, Rafferty said he would not be waiting for the Santa Monica case to be decided. He added he would not accept a settlement in the case.  

Lujan declined to comment on the city’s choice to employ Gibson Dunn, citing ongoing litigation. Gibson Dunn could not be reached for comment as of the publication of this story.  

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