WASHINGTON - California's attorney general yesterday asked the Contra Costa County Superior Court to invalidate the Richmond Unified School District's defaulted certificates of participation on the grounds that the lease issue created debt prohibited under the state constitution.

In a forceful response to an investor lawsuit filed in April, the state not only explained its role in the district's decision last year to walk away from the $9.8 million issue, but invited the court to draw the line against what state officials believe are egregious uses of lease financing.

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