72°F
weather icon Clear

Badlands lawyers go after ‘biased’ Las Vegas city councilmen

An attorney for the developers behind plans to build on the Badlands golf course charge that Councilmen Steve Seroka and Bob Coffin are biased against the developer and they should recuse themselves from future Badlands votes.

Those assertions came in letters from the Hutchison & Steffen law firm sent to the councilmen, who both say they received them on Tuesday.

“Legal action may be instigated as a result of the dispute, which undoubtedly will involve” Coffin, Seroka, Las Vegas Planning Commissioner Christina Roush and the city, one letter states. The letter tells the city to preserve relevant hard copies and electronically stored information.

“We have determined that you have actively impeded the development of the properties through your public comments, including, but not limited to taking the position that following existing law is the ‘stupidest thing in the world in this case,’” the letter to Seroka states.

The City Council, which only had four present members at Wednesday’s council meeting, delayed three applications for putting single-family homes on a swath of the roughly 250-acre Badlands golf course. The council will take those proposals up again May 16. By then, a new Ward 5 council member will be seated following a March special election.

The letters are part of the latest installment of a yearslong clash between the Badlands property owners and neighbors, resulting in a string of development applications and multiple lawsuits. The development fight figured heavily in a high-spending Ward 2 City Council race last year, which landed Seroka on the council.

Mark Hutchison, Nevada’s lieutenant governor, whose law firm now represents developer EHB Cos., contended at Wednesday’s council meeting Seroka has become an advocate against the development.

Seroka’s statements in question were about a previous Badlands development proposal that was “completely different” than the single-family homes the developers are now applying for, City Attorney Brad Jerbic said.

Both letters to the councilmen were titled “your bias and resulting denial of due process.”

The letter to Coffin claims he is biased against EHB Cos. CEO Yohan Lowie.

“Mr. Lowie is a member of the Jewish faith, and you have publicly stated on multiple occasions that he is treating the residents of Queensridge like the Jewish state of Israel allegedly treats the ‘unruly Palestinians,’” the letter states.

(Severiano del Castillo Galvan/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Court will decide

Clark County District Court Judge Jim Crockett sided with the Badlands opponents and ruled in January the city “abused its discretion” in approving a developer’s plans for condominiums on the Badlands golf course without a major modification to the master plan. The 435 condominium project the City Council approved last February is the only development proposal to receive council approval.

Todd Bice, an attorney representing Queensridge residents who oppose the plans, said he doesn’t think the “slander” of Seroka and Coffin is a coincidence “now that a judge ruled that the developer bullied the city” into changing the rules.

The developer and the city disregarded “repeated recommendations by (city) staff in the earlier stages, which made it clear that a major modification was a requirement,” Crockett said in a hearing last month.

Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Wednesday she thinks the ruling will be appealed and will land in the Nevada Supreme Court. The council considered a Badlands development plan in November 2016, and different or delayed applications have been recurring items on agendas since then.

“We said there will be no winner in this unless this is mediated,” Goodman said.

Contact Jamie Munks at jmunks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0340. Follow @Journo_Jamie_ on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Tomi Lahren Speaks at UNLV - VIDEO
Fox News contributor and UNLV alumna Tomi Lahren returned to campus Wednesday night for a speech, titled “Stay Triggered,” that drew an auditorium of supporters as well as a group of protesters outside. (James Schaeffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders released from Las Vegas hospital - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., issues a statement after he was released from Desert Springs Hospital Medical Center on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019, after suffering a heart attack earlier in the week. (Bernie Sanders via Twitter)
Democratic presidential candidates speak on impeachment - VIDEO
Democratic presidential candidates attending the March for Our Lives/Giffords Gun Safety Forum in Las Vegas comment on possible impeachment proceedings. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden Las Vegas Rally Highlights - Video
2020 presidential candidate, Joe Biden, came to Las Vegas to talk guns, climate change and the Ukranian-Trump scandal. Biden was interrupted by a protestor who sat amongst supporters at the rally and continued with his speech. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden comments on Trump and his campaign efforts in Nevada - Video
After an impeachment inquiry was opened on Donald Trump, Joe Biden talks with Review-Journal politics reporter Rory Appleton about Trump and his campaign in Nevada. (Angus Kelly & James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST
Las Vegas might prosecute domestic violence without gun provision

The Las Vegas City Council will consider prosecuting misdemeanor domestic violence cases under a new city code that would not ban those convicted of the crime from possessing firearms, in order to avoid having to hold jury trials for the offense.