Caruso Company Reps Respond to Suit Over Alleged Grove Protest Restrictions

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Representatives for companies owned by mayoral candidate Rick Caruso have responded to a lawsuit by free-speech activists who allege viewpoint discrimination for not being allowed to protest at the Grove, saying the plaintiffs’ applications raised safety concerns.

Caruso, a billionaire real estate developer running for mayor of Los Angeles, has his campaign headquartered at the shopping center, which has also been the site of numerous public events promoting his candidacy, according to the Los Angeles Superior Court suit brought Aug. 16 against Caruso Management Co. Ltd. and GFM LLC, alleging violations of the state Constitution.

The lawsuit’s plaintiffs — former mayoral candidate Gina Viola as well as Sim Bilal of the organization Youth Climate Strike Los Angeles — were denied permission by Grove management to hold small-scale marches through the center’s public access ways in August, according to the suit, which seeks injunctive relief permitting criticisms of Caruso’s campaign positions on the Fairfax District property. A hearing is scheduled Sept. 22 before Judge Teresa A. Beaudet.

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