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Judge upholds DeLongs’ eviction from equestrian center

Council candidate, wife absent from hearing in which court orders them to leave.

February 25, 2010|By Michael Miller

An Orange County Superior Court judge upheld the eviction of Huntington Beach City Council candidate Gregg DeLong and his wife from the local equestrian center Tuesday.

DeLong, who has filed a claim against the city and the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center, was served multiple eviction notices in December after center officials stated that he had repeatedly broken rules on the property.

He refused to vacate the grounds, where he and his wife, Evette DeLong, became tenants in 2006 and keep three horses.

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Judge Glenn Mondo ruled in the center’s favor, but the DeLongs did not appear at the hearing. Mondo said he had received a message that Gregg DeLong was unavailable due to a medical issue, and noted that the case may require a second hearing if he becomes available.

DeLong did not return calls seeking comment.

Attorney Michael Lanphere said if the DeLongs did not voluntarily leave the property, he would file for a writ of possession, which would mean bringing in law enforcement to ensure their eviction. He said he hoped the DeLongs would remove the horses on their own, but noted that if they did not, the center would make arrangements to care for the animals temporarily.

“The health and welfare of the horses will be considered at all times,” Lanphere said. “We hope Mr. DeLong will remove the horses, but if he doesn’t, the horses will be taken care of.”

DeLong, a first-time contender for the council, filed a claim in January stating that businesses operating at the center, which he considers subcontractors, owe the city more than $1.5 million in revenues per a 1982 agreement.

He also claimed that center officials have employed undocumented workers, arbitrarily changed prices for services and intimidated him and other boarders.

Center officials have denied the claims, and earlier this month, a Superior Court judge ruled that annual operating statements from the center, which DeLong had attempted to make public, could remain sealed.


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