Dan and Diane Harkey, Financial and Political Power Couple, Keep OC Courts Humming

California 37th Senate District
Assemblywoman Diane Harkey appears lost in thought as state Sen. Mimi Walters speaks at the Laguna Niguel City Hall grand opening in October 2011.

If Orange County courts are hurting for operating funds as much as they claim to be, don't blame Dan and Diane Harkey, whose cases alone should help keep the lights on.

Dan Harkey, Legislator's Husband Tossed from Belly-Up Investment Firm, Targeted by State

Indeed, if I am missing any court cases involving the pair, please let me know in the comments section so that I can add them in an update. For now, I know of these:

* There has been a $12.5 million breach of fiduciary responsibility judgment pending against Dan Harkey and his bankrupt development investment company Point Center Financial since July 2013. Plaintiffs have been unable to collect from either Harkey; Diane managed first to get herself dismissed from the lawsuit, and now she claims to have dismissed herself from her marriage, claiming to have separated from her husband.

* But investors succeeded in court in getting Diane Harkey's $95,000 annual Assembly salary garnished through the end of her term at year's end because California law does not preclude her possible liability to creditors. The veteran Dana Point Republican challenged the order, only to be rejected this week by state Controller John Chiang, who oversees legislators' pay. If, as expected, Harkey wins a seat on the state Board of Equalization in November, the PCF investors say they will get those wages garnished as well.

* The PCF investors are also suing to get $100,000 Harkey loaned her Board of Equalization campaign and about $25,000 worth of horses she and her estranged husband own. "We are pursuing every legal remedy available under California law to satisfy these judgments, including community property," Timothy Aires, attorney for 39 plaintiffs in the case, says in an Orange County Register report.

* During last summer's primary campaign for the seat on the Board of Equalization, which sets state tax policy, challenger and state Sen. Mark Wyland linked Diane Harkey to the financial woes of her husband. That produced a defamation lawsuit from Diane Harkey, who later dropped it as many pointed to her previous criticism of frivolous suits. But the judge in the defamation suit awarded about $12,000 in legal fees to Wyland, something Harkey is appealing--where else?--in court.

Dan Harkey makes his pitch.
* Dan Harkey is also suing ... some of those investors who sued him over the PCF debacle. In the complaint filed in Orange County Superior Court in July, Mr. Harkey accuses them of conspiring to ruin PCF and his own "reputation of excellence." Harkey singles out retiree Kurt Sipolski for "Monday morning quaterbacking" as PCF imploded, engaging in fraud to blame it on Harkey through the media as well as the "malicious prosecution" of the investment company owner. Harkey seeks damages of "at least" $50,000 $50 million from Sipolski alone, as well as attorney fees and court costs reimbursed.

You can read more about Sipolski, a 67-year-old resident of Palm Desert, in a recent USA Today article on retirement investments gone wrong.

Here's the short take: Sipolski, who was stricken with polio as a child and is now confined to a wheelchair as a retiree, invested $150,000 in a PCF real estate development deal, hoping to live off the income. When the project went belly up, Sipolski and hundreds of other investors lost millions. They sued alleging a Ponzi scheme, elder abuse, breach of fiduciary obligations, fraud and unfair business practices.

Only the breach of fiduciary obligations allegation stuck, but so did the $12.5 million judgment, or so they thought. Harkey's suit against Sipolski and the others mentions the award is being challenged in court.

"It is utterly unimaginable that Dan Harkey has sued me, just one month to the day after the USA Today article exposed him," Sipolski tells the Weekly.

Having burned through his savings, cashed in his pension and bank CDs and now living on $654 a month in Social Security, Sipolski reminds that his foe in litigation "is a multi-millionaire who has declared bankruptcy, claiming he has not even an extra $100 to pay the court-ordered award. Meanwhile, his new company, CAL COMM, claims to have $60 million in assets. So much for our judicial system, business ethics and frivolous, expensive lawsuits."

Come on, buddy, how else we gonna keep those lights on?

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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How do the Harkeys sleep at night? What's the latest on Mimi Walters and her husband's business misadventures?  Bet Mimi and Diane are fast friends, two of a kind.


As a former resident of Dana Point, I always thought it odd when Diane Harkey was running for mayor, the amount of money being spend on her campaign mailings. It seemed as if every other day I received some type of print propaganda about why she should become mayor and of why her opponent was not qualified. Obviously, she wasn't running to become Mayor for the paycheck. But then it became so obvious after her election, she had ambition for higher elected office. You have to wonder, what was her ulterior motivation for seeking political positions? Power, graft, connections, fixes...just wondering?

paullucas714 topcommenter

How is it that this kind of behavior is ok with the GOP electorate?

sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

until people stop with this,, 

well, my criminal ( politician) is better than yours

na na na nana

and elect a libertarian /3rd party and someone not beholden to either a religious organization or socialist affiliation 

this country wont ever recover 

but , the sad fact is ,, thats what some people want

fishingblues topcommenter


"and elect a libertarian /3rd party and someone not beholden to either a religious organization or socialist affiliation" 

Sounds good!

"this country won't ever recover 

but, the sad fact is, that's what some people want"

Obama for one

fishingblues topcommenter

@sweetliberty17761776 @fishingblues

Difficult to get into a political discussion anymore without coming away depressed.  

Only a few years ago I worried for my granddaughter's future in this country.  Now, thanks to "one world order" Obama, I fear I will see the results of the destruction in my lifetime.  


Yeah, it's definitely Obama's fault these grifters stole the life savings of an elderly polio victim.


sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

@fishingblues @sweetliberty17761776

the self hate and racism that has defined the Left has come to 

fruition in the disguise of 


we have allowed it

we allowed the GOP to be rinos

we allowed the GOP to fall right into the trap the left set up

the Left said freebies

and the rinos said,, well we will compromise with you

when you have $100 and you lose 50% of it

it takes more than 50% to recoup

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