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Oakland Hills Resident Asks District Attorney to Arrest, Prosecute Offenders Over SunCal Oak Knoll Nuisance

In a letter sent to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley on October 13th, and copied to Oakland and Alameda city officials, Donald Mitchell of the Sequoyah Hills/Oak Knoll Neighborhood Association asked Ms. O’Malley to “effect the arrest, and begin the immediate prosecution, of various specific persons” pertaining to the ongoing nuisance at SunCal’s stalled Oak Knoll project.

In an email to Alameda City Councilmembers, Mr. Mitchell wrote:

As elected officials in the City of Alameda about to embark on a similar development I wanted you to be aware of how even a seemingly safe, attractive redevelopment project can suddenly go very wrong. I am available at your convenience to provide a tour of the Oak Knoll site and answer any questions that you may have.

As it happens, the D.A. is also an Alameda resident.

The letter to O’Malley asserts that the situation at Oak Knoll is a public nuisance, and represents a “substantive crime.” Further, it asserts that illegal dumping of waste at the property by SunCal Oak Knoll LLC violates California Penal Code section 374.3, and that Lehman employees, currently managing Oak Knoll after the bankruptcy of SunCal’s financing partner, Lehman Brothers, are guilty of a conspiracy by willfully failing to comply with a City of Oakland order to abate the hazards at Oak Knoll. The order was served to both Lehman and SunCal earlier this year.

The letter asks the D.A. to prosecute the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Trustee overseeing Lehman’s bankruptcy case and other individuals who are not identified by name.

Today, October 15th, was slated to be a big day for both Lehman and SunCal in their tussle to take control from each other of twenty some-odd bankrupt projects. The court was expected to make significant decisions today about competing bankruptcy-exit plans from both Lehman and SunCal. Someone sure to be watching the proceedings intently is SunCal CEO Bruce Elieff, who, according to court documents, made a personal guarantee with his wife on some $230 million of loans tied to the bankrupt projects. In court pleadings, attorneys for Lehman have said that it is unacceptable that SunCal’s bankruptcy-exit plan would let Elieff off the hook on those guarantees.

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