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American Way

California attorney general Bill Lockyer wants San Diego developer Irving Okovita to stop suing three forest-service workers and an environmentalist who have stymied his efforts to build luxury condos in a bald-eagle habitat near Big Bear. In December, Okovita sued the four -- two forest-service scientists, a supervisor, and a neighborhood resident -- charging that they had used an environmental group, the "Friends of Fawnskin," as a "racketeering enterprise" in an illegal conspiracy to block his proposed 132-unit Marina Point development. The forest service says that the property includes a stand of pine trees that serves as winter habitat for the eagles, but Okovita maintains his property rights are being illegally taken away. Democrat Lockyer weighed in earlier this month by sending a letter to Okovita asserting that the federal anti-racketeering law that the case was filed under was being used by powerful interests against private citizens to suppress" legitimate First Amendment activity." If he doesn't withdraw it, Lockyer threatened to file a friend-of-court brief against him. Okovita did not return calls.

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California attorney general Bill Lockyer wants San Diego developer Irving Okovita to stop suing three forest-service workers and an environmentalist who have stymied his efforts to build luxury condos in a bald-eagle habitat near Big Bear. In December, Okovita sued the four -- two forest-service scientists, a supervisor, and a neighborhood resident -- charging that they had used an environmental group, the "Friends of Fawnskin," as a "racketeering enterprise" in an illegal conspiracy to block his proposed 132-unit Marina Point development. The forest service says that the property includes a stand of pine trees that serves as winter habitat for the eagles, but Okovita maintains his property rights are being illegally taken away. Democrat Lockyer weighed in earlier this month by sending a letter to Okovita asserting that the federal anti-racketeering law that the case was filed under was being used by powerful interests against private citizens to suppress" legitimate First Amendment activity." If he doesn't withdraw it, Lockyer threatened to file a friend-of-court brief against him. Okovita did not return calls.

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