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Interior Attorney Pushed Land Deal; U.S. agency's chief lawyer, now an appeals court nominee, urged turning over publicly owned parcel to firm.
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Disputes; Politics; Legislation -- California
Author: Weinstein, Henry
Date: Mar 8, 2004
Start Page: B.1
Section: California Metro; Part B; Metro Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

"[William G. Myers III]' attempt to give away valuable public lands in this case is another example of how he used his position as Interior solicitor to put the private interests of the industries that paid his bills in private practice over the public's interest," said Doug Kendall, executive director of Community Rights Counsel, one of the organizations leading the opposition to Myers' nomination to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

"On the basis of Mr. Myers' opinion," [Wally Herger] and [John Doolittle] introduced a bill to turn over the land for free, according to Fran Peace, Herger's district director in Chico. She said two of Yuba River's three partners live in Doolittle's district, while the third partner and the land are in Herger's district.

[Deane Swickard] said he was pleased with the outcome, as did Bill Calvert, a 69-year-old rancher and an activist in the Yuba Goldfields Access Coalition who was opposed to the bill. Both said, however, that if Myers had done routine research in 2002, he would have found the same Yuba County land and tax records that Interior Department officials now cite as the reason to no longer support the legislation.

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