Gov’t Challenges Court in US$10.7M Vehicles Debt

first_imgThe court is yet to come out with a definite decision more than two months after government lawyers challenged the legality of the Commercial Court to hear a US$10.7M vehicle debt lawsuit brought against them by Lebanese businessman, George Haddad.If the court rules that it has jurisdiction, it means that it would proceed into the merit of the case, which may likely compel government to pay US$10.7m debt owed Mr. Haddad, a judicial expert hinted to the Daily Observer.Mr. Haddad‘s lawyer filed a lawsuit against the government claiming that  from 2000 to 2008, their client  sold and repaired several vehicles and also supplied spare parts to government institutions amounting to US$10.7M. However, government is yet to pay the money, despite their client’s persistent attempts to collect payment.Prior to challenging the court’s authority to handle the matter, government lawyers openly admitted that they were indebted to the Lebanese businessman.They made the confession when the court held a conference with both parties. Surprisingly, after hearing government’s admission and subsequent contention over the court’s jurisdiction, the Resident Chief Judge, Eva Mappy Morgan, one of the judges of the three-judge panel that is managing the court, suspended the case without setting a definite date for their ruling into the matter.The judicial expert informed this newspaper that the plaintiff and his lawyers do not know the reason behind the court’s delay in deciding the matter.According to the expert, the act that created the court provides that “It shall have jurisdiction over and in all civil actions arising out of or in relation to commercial transactions in which the claim is at least US$15,000…”The act further provides that “the court has jurisdiction over all commercial cases and claims, irrespective of the residence of parties or what . . . cause of action arose.”It further states that “it has jurisdiction over all disputes in connection with the creation, negotiation, and enforcement of any negotiable instrument, including the liabilities and rights associated with it.”“It has the power to adjudicate all commercial matters within its jurisdiction and . . . claims over which the circuit court, the debt court and the commercial court have concurrent jurisdiction may not need to be moved from the court at which it has been instituted.Despite these jurisdictions, a state lawyer, Cllr. Augustine Fayia, argued that the case be dismissed on the grounds that the court lacks what he termed as “jurisdiction” to try the case.He also contended that the court was established in 2010, which shows that the law creating it prevented it from hearing matters prior to its establishment.Cllr. Fayia’s contention came after the state lawyers and Haddad’s lawyers rested with the final arguments in early February.However, the state lawyer did not deny government indebtedness to the foreign businessman; rather Cllr. Fayia argued that the court lacks jurisdiction.The case arose in 2012, when Haddad’s legal team, the Sherman & Sherman Law Firm filed a lawsuit against government.In that lawsuit, the lawyers contended that from 2000 to 2008, Mr. Haddad sold and repaired several vehicles and also supplied spare parts to government institutions amounting to US$10.7M. However, government is yet to pay the money, despite their client’s persistent negotiations.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Burbank’s new chief uniter

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Pansini, 50, of Shadow Hills, was hired after a nationwide job search and interviews by panels of fire and city officials and residents. “His interim leadership has been incredible,” City Manager Mary Alvord said during the change of command ceremony held Wednesday at Fire Department headquarters. “He won the respect of the entire executive team. I couldn’t be prouder.” Pansini is taking the $150,684-a-year post after serving as interim chief since May, when he replaced former Chief Mike Davis. “He leads by example,” said Capt. Lew Stone, the president of the Burbank Fire Fighters Local 778, the union that represents 120 active firefighters and 80 retirees. “When he was a captain, he was on the roof with his guys cutting the hole. He held the nozzle, pushing the head right into the seat of the fire.” Pansini, a Verdugo Hills High School graduate, didn’t start out as Pansini the firefighter. He was enrolled in pre-veterinarian classes at Pierce College when the Mill Creek Fire broke out in the Angeles National Forest in 1975, and his home in Big Tujunga Canyon was surrounded by fire. Pansini and three friends grabbed garden hoses and managed to save his house. “Tracy grabbed some hoses, and he said, ‘Come on let’s go on the roof. We got on the roof and started putting out some hot spots,” said Tony Varela, 49, a lifelong friend of Pansini’s and an assistant chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department. “I thought he was nuts. I could see Tracy taking a look at that, and saying ‘I can do this. I could be a firefighter.’ “Tracy lived up to every expectation I had of him as a friend. He is truly a doer.” Pansini joined the Burbank Fire Department in November 1979 and has since gone on “too many fires to count.” In the beginning, he said, he was “too stupid to know if they were harrowing” and went on “gut instinct.” In 1981, he became a paramedic firefighter. During a rotation through Providence Saint Joseph’s Medical Center, he said, he recalled helping a man who had walked into a spinning propeller at the Burbank Airport – and survived. “That was incredible,” Pansini said. “That was the worst injury I had ever seen where somebody was still talking and was coherent.” Later, Pansini trained in hazardous materials and responded to fires at the Skunk Works facility, Lockheed Martin’s top-secret lab where the U-2, the SR-71 and the F-117 were built. “Normally what we’re fighting in town is wood, paper, things like that,” Pansini said. “But to go out there and see all these chemicals and processes that were top secret, that were so exotic … We had to go in in special suits and open up the ovens and remove the material that was burning. It was incredible.” In 1992, Pansini became one of a few hundred firefighters from around the country on an elite “Red Card” team, on call to respond to wildfires anywhere in the West. “My goal is to build better relationships,” Pansini said. “Fires don’t just burn on one jurisdiction or on one city’s soil. They run many jurisdictions. Only through working together and collaborating are we going to be successful.” Jason Kandel, (818) 546-3306 jason.kandel@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BURBANK – A 26-year veteran of the Burbank Fire Department, Tracy Pansini describes himself as an “in-the-trench guy” who has gone out on “too many fires to count.” That’s why the then-assistant chief had a tough decision to make eight months ago, when he was offered a promotion to interim chief – a step that led to his appointment last week of the 145-member department. “I’d never done the administrative function of the Fire Department,” said Pansini, who becomes the sixth chief since 1935, the year the department became an all-paid force. “I was always a ground-pounder. I’m an in-the-trench guy. I get in the trench, get dirty, roll around and I get the job done like everybody else, regardless of rank.” last_img read more