A grassroots group of current and former Ventura residents has sued the city over the removal last week of a statue of 18th century Spanish missionary Junipero Serra from in front of City Hall.

The new Coalition for Historical Integrity filed its suit in Ventura County Superior Court on July 21, two days before the statue was removed from public land and put in storage with the ultimate goal of moving it to Mission San Buenaventura, which Serra founded.

The suit sought to block the city from removing the monument on grounds that the City Council had “abused their discretion” when it found on July 15 that the statue did not meet the requirements to be designated a historic landmark.

The council’s finding meant that the statue could be removed without first having to undergo an environmental review pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, as it’s commonly referred to.

The suit will now seek to have the statue brought back to its longtime site at California and Poli streets outside City Hall, the plaintiff’s attorney, James McDermott, said Monday.

Full story at Ventura County Star.

Previous CalCatholic stories about the controversy: