State high court holds fate of undocumented lawyer; Councilmen pursue fracking ban; Cudahy corruption

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todaysnewsbanner2Immigrant lawyer. Sergio Garcia is not a legal U.S. resident. But the Chico man graduated from a California high school, a California college and a California law school.

The question of whether Garcia will be allowed to practice law in this state goes before the California Supreme Court today.

Garcia’s bid to obtain his law license is supported by the state bar association and Attorney General Kamela Harris. But the Obama Administration says federal law bars people who are in the country illegally from getting a law license.

Garcia was born in Mexico and came to U.S. with his parents before he was 2-years-old. He returned to Mexico when he was 9 and then reentered the U.S. illegally when he was 17.

Garcia told KCRW’s Warren Olney that he deserves a chance to be a lawyer.

“I think the California Supreme Court will take this opportunity to send a positive message that the American Dream is still alive and well in California and that hard work and perseverance still pays off,” Garcia said.

Garcia’s father is a legal U.S. citizen and he applied for a green card for his son. That application was reportedly approved, but Garcia is still waiting to receive the card.

The state Supreme Court is expected to rule on the case within 90 days. KCRW

Fracking freeze. Two L. A. City Council members plan to introduce a motion today calling for a halt to the practice of hydraulic fracturing – or fracking. Paul Koretz and Mike Bonin say they’re particularly concerned about companies utilizing the method along the city’s water supply routes. The process uses a pressurized mixture of water and chemicals to release oil or natural gas from deep beneath the earth’s surface. Critics say fracking damages property, pollutes the air and water and could even lead to an increased risk for earthquakes. L.A. Times

The ??? Angels. The city of Anaheim is set to start negotiating a long-term lease agreement with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The City Council voted to allow the team to opt out of its lease as late as 2019, instead of the current date of 2016 – giving the two sides three more years to negotiate. That move all but seals the fate of the “of Anaheim” part of the team’s official name. Owner Arte Moreno reportedly wants to call the team “The Los Angeles Angels,” even though the team plays 25 miles away. Moreno and the city will negotiate a long-term lease extension that calls for the team to invest as much as $150 million in stadium renovations. In exchange, Moreno would pay $1 annual rent. He’s also asking for full control of the stadium’s parking lots, where he wants to build restaurants and condominiums. Orange County Register

Cudahy corruption. At the request of city officials, the state plans to open an investigation into corruption at Cudahy City Hall. Former Mayor David Silva was sentenced to a year in jail earlier this year for taking bribes from a businessman who wanted to open a medical pot dispensary in the eastern L.A. County city. A long-time city councilman and another city official were also convicted. State Controller John Chiang says the audit will focus on administrative and internal controls in the city. Chiang says he has reason to believe the scandal-plagued city has not been providing reliable financial data. L.A. Times

Missing student. Despite using helicopters, deputies on horseback and search dogs, Sheriff’s officials say there’s no sign of a college student who disappeared on his way home from Northern California last week. Nineteen-year-old Bryce Laspisa called his mother around 2 a.m. Friday to say he was pulling over to get some rest. His overturned SUV was found several hours later near Lake Castaic. The Sheriff’s Department says Laspisa was the subject of an earlier missing report. His parents called Kern County authorities last Thursday to day they hadn’t heard from their son. He was located in the town of Buttonwillow, which is where his parents last spoke to him. KNBC