Federal Judge Rules VA Misused Campus

Federal judge rules the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs leased land for purposes other than providing health care to veterans.
August 30, 2013

A federal judge ruled Thursday the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs misused its sprawling West Los Angeles campus for a hotel laundry, a film studio storage lot and UCLA's baseball stadium, but stopped short of ordering the tenants off the property.

U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said the agency had abused its discretion by leasing land for purposes "totally divorced from the provision of healthcare," but gave the government six months to decide whether to appeal before he enforces the order.

UCLA, whose baseball team has played on the VA property in Jackie Robinson Stadium for nearly 50 years, said it would do "everything possible" to remain there. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice declined to say whether the government would challenge the ruling.

The ACLU of Southern California had sued on behalf of veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and brain injuries, saying the 387-acre property should have been used to house and help homeless veterans too disabled to seek outpatient services. The government argued the leases produced revenue for veteran healthcare services.

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