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For their part, district officials, after some initial panic, insist their position remains strong. "My only guess is that this proposal is a political trial balloon to force the district to settle its lien for 50 cents on the dollar by getting Nate Holden and other stooges to front for them," said one district source off the record.
Added another: "It's completely bizarre. It could be an attempt to see if some investor wants to come to the plate or an attempt at political leverage against the school board."
"No development can proceed until the district's debt is taken care of," said Richard K. Mason, general counsel for L.A Unified. "Our only interest is getting paid back what we're owed."