Calif. justices decline Pacific Lumber Co. fraud case

Chris Rizo Apr. 24, 2008, 3:55pm

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos

SAN FRANCISCO (Legal Newsline)-The California Supreme Court has declined to review an appeals court decision that threw out a fraud case against Pacific Lumber Co.

Humboldt County District Attorney Paul Gallegos sued the Scotia, Calif.-based lumber company alleging that it nefariously secured a liberal long-term logging plan by obtaining a fraudulent advantage.

Gallegos accused the company in 2002 of clinching a liberal timber harvesting plan by submitting bogus data and later failing to correct the record until the last minute.

The district attorney sought damages in the amount of $2500 per tree cut under the company's Sustained Yield Plan, and restitution of $300 million.

Humboldt County Judge Richard Freeborn threw out the case in 2005. Gallegos appealed to the California Supreme Court.

The appellate court ruled that it was Palco's lobbying efforts that led to the California Department of Forestry to adopt a less restrictive cut.

The high court on Wednesday also rejected a request by Gallegos that a U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeal opinion in January be de-published so the case could not be precedent setting.

From Legal Newsline: Reach reporter Chris Rizo by e-mail at

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