Angelo Tsakopoulos

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Angelo Tsakopoulos (born 1936) is a prominent real estate developer in Sacramento, California and the founder and owner of AKT Development. Tsakopoulos attended California State University, Sacramento. Tsakopoulos was fined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency for a violation of the Clean Water Act. Tsakopoulos sued the government and was able to bring his case to the U.S. Supreme Court, though the Court found against him.

From the Association of State Wetland Managers:

"The case grew out of Tsakopoulos' preparations to subdivide part of the 8,350 acre (3,379 hectare) Borden Ranch into apple orchards and vineyards. He used a method of soil preparation called deep plowing or deep ripping to loosen the clay subsurface of nearly 1,000 acres (4,000 hectars) so that the roots of deep-growing trees and vines could penetrate. During the course of that work, about 2 acres (0.8 hectares) of wetlands also were plowed, although to lesser depths."
"But Tsakopoulos argued that normal farming practices, including deep plowing, were excluded specifically from the Clean Water Act."
"The government said that was true only if the plowing did not change the character of the farmland."[1]

Justice Anthony Kennedy had to recuse himself from the case because of his acquaintance with Tsakopoulos and only eight justices were left deciding the case. The ruling turned out to be a 4–4 tie. Because of the tie, the ruling against Tsakopoulos by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals was automatically affirmed.

In 2002, Tsakopoulos purchased a 70,000 volume collection on Hellenistic civilization and donated it to the library of California State University, Sacramento where it is available for use by the community [2].

Tsakopoulos is a minority owner of the Sacramento Mountain Lions franchise of the United Football League.

His daughter, Eleni Kounalakis, served as president of AKT Development. She served as United States Ambassador to Hungary from 2010–2013 and is a candidate in the California lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2018.[1]


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