Gov. Jerry Brown today announced he is scrapping former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to sell a dozen state buildings, including San Francisco's PUC Building and Supreme Court Building.
Schwarzenegger attempted to bulldoze the plan through last year before leaving office -- which raised questions in the media about his intentions. SF Weekly first broke the story about how the former governor hoped to sell iconic state-owned buildings with the rationale of closing the state's budget deficit. The deal would have landed the state $2.3 billion upfront -- but leasing the structures back from a shadowy group of investors would have cost California billions in the long run. .
The new owners were slated to take over the buildings on Dec. 15, 2010. However, the Court of Appeals issued an emergency stay three former state building officials filed a lawsuit, saying the sale was "unconstitutional and a waste of taxpayer funds."
While the lawsuit lingered, Brown was sworn in as governor. Though he expressed misgivings about the building sales, he did not make a committal statement until this morning.
"We are thrilled with the governor's decision this morning; it is obviously the right thing to do," said Joseph Cotchett, an attorney representing the plaintiffs. "We are pleased our lawsuit gave him the opportunity to make that decision."
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