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Harbor Performance Enhancement Center Seeks to Shine Light on Thousands of Documents Withheld by the City, Port of Los A

Friday, 22 November 2019 | 00:00

In light of the Port of Los Angeles’s (POLA) continuing refusal to produce responsive documents and apparent efforts to conceal communications, the Harbor Performance Enhancement Center (HPEC) filed a motion Tuesday to compel the Port of Los Angeles to follow the law and produce thousands of documents in a rapidly intensifying legal dispute.

Initial discovery yielded internal correspondence at the Port of Los Angeles and with third parties, including leadership of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), showing deliberate efforts to undermine the project. These efforts were unknown to HPEC and contrary to POLA’s public expression of support for the project.

“POLA has used baseless privilege claims to withhold 2,123 documents from HPEC ,” said Patricia Glaser, HPEC lead counsel. “We believe POLA has concealed the communications of several key parties, including POLA and ILWU leadership.”

After being selected by the Port in 2015 through a competitive bidding process to develop a milestone project to reduce cargo congestion at the Port of Los Angeles, HPEC spent four years and more than $2 million in project planning and environmental approval processing before POLA, without justification, terminated the Project. In June 2019, HPEC filed a writ petition in Los Angeles Superior Court seeking redress for the inexplicable termination of the Project. Today’s filing follows the Court’s rejection of a City of Los Angeles request in September to dismiss the case. HPEC is now seeking access to more than 2,000 additional documents that HPEC believes will shine a light on bad faith dealings on the part of the POLA and the City.

“The bottom line is that we’re in this for the long-haul,” said Jonathan Rosenthal, CEO of HPEC. “It’s become abundantly clear that the Port is intent on hiding something; improperly withholding over 2,000 documents proves that. Government transparency matters more than ever and the public deserves to see the facts.”

Source: HPEC

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