Subject: Anaheim's Landslide Settlement
Dear Mr. Steiner:
My name is Ms. T (I have withheld her name). My family and I used to live at 6912 Avenida de Santiago. We walked away from our 9,000 square foot home because my (now ex) husband lost his job, due to the stress of the Anaheim landslide. While our home was in foreclosure, we sold it for $200,000 less than we owed on it. We then separated and got divorced. I became suicidal for over a year. We then watched as our daughters fell completely apart; one choosing drugs and living on the streets.
I am a very private person and that's probably why you have never heard from me until now. My family has been completely destroyed: We lost our home, equity, jobs, income, benefits and I lost my mind. But most important of all, we lost our children's security, something we had worked so hard to accomplish.
As we all struggled to start over, there was a little bit of hope tucked deep in our hearts. A hope that we all might just in fact get something from this horrible experience. It was the one thing that kept me going year after year.
A few weeks ago, on December 10th, 1999, I lost my job.
What got me through a very depressing Christmas was that little bit of hope that I hung onto.
Now, this week, we received Pillsbury Madison and Sutro's so called 'award' letter. I am insulted my their offer -- an offer that isn't worth the paper it's written on. I feel completely destroyed and devastated.
Now, how do we pick ourselves up again?
For the first time in my life I want to sit down with someone and share what a horrible experience we have all gone through. Do you know anyone in the media that might want to listen? I want people to know just how terribly bad the City of Anaheim treats their citizens.
Maybe if we were all able to grow mouse ears we would have treated justly.
Thank you so very much for your web site. I admire you for doing something that I don't think I would ever be able to have done.
Just another landslide victim
Editor's Reply: Dear Ms. T:
Your tears can be seen on the words you have written. But I have no solace to offer other than to say what happened to all of us was not our faults. We, all 500 of us, were purposely set up to take the financial losses, the wasted lives and the mental anguish that occurred because of the blatant greed of the corrupt politicians of Orange County and the City of Anaheim.
What we had all thought and prayed for was that the American Court System would assist us in righting this terrible wrong that had beset us. And, of course, a great deal of this hope rested in the hands -- the promised aid -- of our attorneys at Pillsbury Madison and Sutro.
The judge we were saddled with Jully Seymour, according to his own published biography, was, and is, pro-city, pro-development. To the best of my personal knowledge, everything the City of Anaheim wanted him to do, he did. When I appeared before this judge, he just hand-stamped Mayor Daly's wishes and completely refused to listen to reason, refused to open his eyes to the terrible injustice being done to all us, refused to right a terrible wrong. He went so far as to approve the theft of our property without ever having exercised eminent domain. Some of the homeowners have called him a crook and a lackey of Mayor Daly. Those comments cannot be disproved by my personal experience under this judge's 'legal' thumb within the confines of his kangaroo court.
And all of this -- this flagrant miscarriage of justice -- our attorneys at Pillsbury Madison and Sutro approved of: These attorneys, led by Mr. Stoner, went so far as to sue us to accept this obviously unfair and illegal settlement. They said it was the best that they could do. Best for who? They ended up with the millions that all of us lost.
Many of our fellow landslide victims have asked me who is worse; the corrupt politicians who fill their pockets with bribes; the judicial system that the politicians secretly control; or the friendly lawyers who say that they will represent our interests, but then become rich with money soaked in our blood, while we teeter on the edge of oblivion?
To those victims, I say: We have completely lost this battle; and I know of only one recourse -- to sue Pillsbury Madison and Sutro for what I feel is a serious and blatant conflict of interest in their forcing us to accept this illegitimate secret agreement that allows our lands to be confiscated without legal due course or the just compensation that would entail.
Any and all homeowners interested in exploring this course of action should contact me in the near future. I am told that we, the landslide victims, have a one-year legal window in which to file charges against Pillsbury Madison and Sutro after they have ceased representing us in this case -- if that is actually what they ever did!
In regards to the righteous newspapers: You have probably heard about the recent financial kick-backs that involved the LA Times. I really doubt that they can see anything wrong in political kick-backs. And, as to the ethical high ground of the OC Register, I think both they and the LA Times occupy the same financial and moral depths, especially when lucrative real estate advertising might be pulled by Mayor Daly's well-heeled real estate clients and financial backers.
Gerald M. Steiner