A note to Rick Reiff regarding a whiff of corruption
As the host of KOCE's Inside OC, you nearly have a monopoly when it comes to getting important stories on local television.
I watched a rerun tonight of your recent interview with embattled OC Treasurer/Tax Collector Chriss (I'm sick of people emailing me on this. His first name is spelled this way.) Street and Nick Berardino, general manager of the OC (government) Employees Association.
For those of you out of the loop, Street is the man in control of a few billion dollars of our local taxpayer money and he's got the FBI and the Orange County District Attorney's office probing his activities based on a history of questionable conduct.
For example, as a court appointed trustee of a bankrupt Los Angeles trucking company, Street--according to Peggy Lowe at the Reg--"paid himself $250,000 a year, gave himself bonuses worth $175,000 over seven years and billed $477,000 in expenses,” including charging the bankrupt company for his family vacation to Spain, cosmetic surgery and gym memberships.
I'm not a bright fellow so I'm hard pressed to think of ways that a bankrupt trucking company should be funding botox treatments. In fact, had I been interviewing him, the botox question might have been first.
But you, Rick, oddly never asked him about this. It was Street who mentioned botox in an answer. He said he was "incredulous" about the botox "accusation."
"Well," said Street, "I did get Botox for the tumor in my head." [My emphasis.]
I swear to geezus that I felt you, a Pulitizer Prize fella in the past, were going to pounce.
A tumor in his head?
Stop the presses.
Flat Screen TVs in his public office?
Is this guy a mental case or misunderstood? I'd like an answer. He's only managing EIGHT BILLION DOLLARS OF OUR PUBLIC TAX MONEY.
Given this was KOCE all I would have needed from you was a strenuously raised eyebrow or, as Commie Girl would have surely said, Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?
But Rick, you quickly changed the subject and left us, the viewing public, scratching our heads.
I know you're a good journalist. I know there must have been questions swirling in your mind. In fairness to Street, he looked ready to field those tough questions. Why didn't you fire away?
Your pal Scott