Eastvale Debt Forgiveness Lawsuit Fails

By Raymond Mendoza
Eastvale – A recent Riverside County Superior Court ruling has Eastvale city government employees baffled after their city was denied debt forgiveness and use of Senate Bill funds after Jurupa Valley, Menifee and Wildomar had theirs granted.
The ruling came down from Riverside County Superior Court Judge Daniel Ottolia on Monday, Nov. 30, stating that he did not have the authority to erase the city’s debt- thereby making the city financially responsible for nearly $5 million in unpaid bills.
The question of debt forgiveness and who would receive part of the beneficial $23.7 million comes from Senate Bill 107- which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown in September. The bill was created to provide relief for the debts of Jurupa Valley, Menifee, Wildomar and Eastvale since these cities were affected by the loss of vehicle-license fee revenue. Brown signed the bill which stipulated that Riverside County would provide these funds to the debt-ridden cities.
However, by March, Eastvale had already paid all of its outstanding debts. When Riverside County was in the process of providing accounting processes of debts owed by each of the aforementioned cities to the State Department of Finance, Eastvale was shown to not need the funds because it had already paid its debts.
As a result of hearing about the newly approved funds, Eastvale government officials stopped paying their bills for law enforcement and other Riverside county-provided services under the assumption that SB 107 funds would apply to them- resulting in nearly $5 million in unpaid bills.
Eastvale City Manager Michele Nissen stated that she was unable to comment on matters regarding the ongoing lawsuit, but that an appeal was filed last week.