Consumer Watchdog throws shade on Gov. Jerry Brown’s support of Newhall Ranch

The governor’s sister, Kathleen Brown, sits on the developer’s board

Rendering of Newhall Ranch and Governor Jerry Brown
Rendering of Newhall Ranch and Governor Jerry Brown

It’s a family affair — and some are up in arms about it.

Nonprofit organization Consumer Watchdog issued a public statement on Oct. 6, asking Gov. Jerry Brown to remove his support from the controversial Newhall Ranch project in Santa Clarita, claiming there could be a conflict of interest issue, the Los Angeles Business Journal reported.

His sister, Kathleen Brown, sits on the board of Five Point Holdings, the developer behind the project. She reportedly received nearly $122,670 in 2016 from the company, according to the statement. She is also on the board of Sempra Energy, which owns Southern California Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric. Sempra Energy owns the Aliso Canyon gas facility, responsible for what most consider the worst single natural gas leak in U.S. history.

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The governor recently backed Senate Bill 634, which would consolidate several water districts and provide water for the 12,000-acre housing development. It would also abolish taxpayer’s rights to vote on the matter.

Five Point’s Newhall Ranch, slated to provide 21,500 houses and over 11 million square feet of commercial space, has faced much criticism since it was first proposed in the 1980s. Developers reached a $25 million settlement deal with environmental groups last month. [LABJ] Natalie Hoberman