Steve Pappas’ six-month legal saga – which seemingly ended in March when a judge upheld the election of Doreen Farr – isn’t over yet.
Pappas and his legal team plan to take their case to the Court of Appeals, according to Farr’s attorney Frederic Woocher. Pappas, who lost the November election for 3rd District supervisor by 806 votes, first brought legal action against Farr in November, claiming technical errors on registration forms from UCSB and Isla Vista precincts resulted in fraud.
Judge William McLafferty, however, disagreed.
“You’re not making your case, I’m just not buying it,” McLafferty told Pappas’s attorney Jeffrey Lake at the trial last month. “If you have any evidence of any fraud I think I should hear about it, but I haven’t heard it.”
Now, a month after the original ruling, Farr’s lawyers are prepping once again to enter the legal fray. Woocher, however, said that the legal arguments remain the same on both sides.
Given the lack of new evidence, Woocher expressed surprise that Pappas would continue to push forward with his case after such a resounding defeat in court last month.
“We would have hoped that [Pappas] would have been sufficiently chastised in the court and in the press,” Woocher said, “instead of deciding to push forward with this unfounded election contest.”
Woocher noted that he anticipates the verdict will be upheld.
“I absolutely expect that the ruling will hold,” he said.
Calls to Pappas and his attorney were not returned.
Although the court has expedited the case because it deals with an elected position, Woocher said that the volume of the evidence submitted by Pappas’s legal team – which, during the trial, filled over a dozen file boxes – may extend the appeals process by several months.
After the review by the Court of Appeals, the hearing should only take half an hour, Woocher said.