San Diego Minutemen vindicated, win lawsuit against Caltrans

In a First Amendment victory for California, the San Diego Minutemen won more than $150,000 in damages for a lawsuit filed against Caltrans for revoking the groups Adopt a Highway permit.

“We are very pleased with the settlement which ends the 18-month attempt to discriminate against our political views that began in January 2008 by local illegal alien activists, Caltrans employees and members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus,” said Jeff Schwilk, founder of the San Diego Minutemen.

The settlement was reached on August 3 at the Federal Court building in San Diego.

Terms of the settlement include payment to the San Diego Minutemen of $157,500 for attorney fees and damages, permanent restoration of the AAH permit for the freeway site near the San Clemente Border Patrol checkpoint near San Onofre, full future participation in the California Adopt-a-Highway program and Caltrans will hold a press conference at their headquarters to correct the inaccurate statements made by Pedro Orso-Delgado, San Diego District Director, who coincidently announced his resignation from Caltrans on the day of the settlement.

Mr. Delgado could not be reached for comment and Caltrans refused comment regarding the settlement in favor of the San Diego Minutemen.

San Diego Minutemen has been cleaning the San Onofre freeway site since August 2008 when Judge Hayes granted an injunction to restore the Minutemen sign and permit.

“SDMM is proud to participate in this community service program and we look forward to adopting other highways in San Diego County to help keep our freeways and roads clean,” Schwilk said.

Francisca Galvan, SDMM’s Adopt-a-Highway director and legal immigrant from Mexico said, “The San Diego Minutemen were extremely grateful to their attorneys at Kaloogian & Fuselier for successfully representing their American activist group in this important Constitutional and civil rights case.”

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