By JULIET WILLIAMS Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Two Republican lawmakers are calling on the state auditor to review the high-speed rail authority's moves to buy up land in the Central Valley for the $68 billion rail project.
Assemblymen Jim Patterson of Fresno and Frank Bigelow of O'Neals submitted a request Tuesday to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee seeking an investigation into the appraisal process and the role of private contractors in the proposed land purchases. Both Patterson and Bigelow represent communities in the Central Valley.
The rail authority has approval to acquire or seize 356 parcels for the first 30-mile leg of the rail system, from Madera to Fresno. It has already begun making offers to landowners in the Central Valley.
Chief executive Jeff Morales has said the authority is following the standard land acquisition process used by state transportation department.