Vinod Khosla Refuses To Answer Questions In Court
Ellisha Rader Mannering
Billionaire Vinod Khosla has learned that the best way to get out of telling the truth is to pretend like you don’t remember it. In fact, he found a way to dodge almost every question he was asked while in court earlier this week.
Khosla is currently in court for a lawsuit that was filed by the Surfrider Foundation and claims that Khosla is in violation of the California Coastal Act.
Khosla purchased property adjacent to Martin’s Beach in 2008 and refuses to allow the public to access it. He has put up gates and signs and has blocked many areas of the beach.
The former owners of the beach allowed tourists on the beach, but charged them a small fee to access it. The Surfrider Foundation would like for Khosla to do the same but he refuses to allow the public on his beach.
Earlier this month, a judge ruled in favor of Khosla and said the property did not fall under the California Constitution because it was originally a rancho that predated the State. The Surfrider Foundation was not satisfied with the ruling and filed another lawsuit a few days later.
Khosla claims that he did not know how the land was being managed and says his property manager, Steven Baugher, was the one who made decisions about the property. When asked about the property he would claim that he did not recall the incident or situation being referred to.
He even claimed that he did not recall why he was in court or the details of the lawsuit saying,
“I probably get 500 to 1,000 pages of documents like this a week. I cannot review them all. I’m not trying to be unreasonable, just telling you what my life is like.”
The judge’s decision will depend on the interpretation of a 1976 law that says that property owners must get permission from the state Coastal Commission before making changes to coastal land. Khosla and his attorneys say that the law does not apply to them because they have not built on or changed the beach in any way. The Surfrider Foundation claims that since a gate was built to prevent access to the beach, it has been changed.
Who do you think will win the legal battle?
Image via Wikimedia Commons