Great Park Public Relations Consultants Get 5 P.M. Deadline to End Odd Contract Secrecy

LarryAgranGreatParkSecrecy.jpg
OC Weekly photo
Councilman for life, Larry Agran: Irvine's most secretive, professional politician since the 1970s
The auditor working to uncover explanations for wild, dubious spending of Orange County Great Park funds by a prior Irvine City Council majority of Larry Agran, Beth Krom and Sukhee Kang has given that trio's favored political consultants a 5 p.m. deadline to disclose key expense records.

In an Aug. 15 letter to lawyers representing Forde & Mollrich of Newport Beach, Anthony R. Taylor--Irvine's independent audit counsel--outlined repeated, unsuccessful demands that the firm surrender documents supporting the more than $7.23 million Agran, Krom and Kang diverted from public park construction funds from July 2005 to January 2013.

Though Taylor reminded Stu Mollrich during a July deposition that Forde & Mollrich's no-bid, no-benchmark contract required the firm to cooperate with all audits of how government funds were spent in a sweetheart, Agran-inspired, $100,000-plus-per-month deal, the consultant's lawyer--David Elson of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips--interrupted related questions 22 times in moves designed to stonewall public knowledge.

"[Irvine citizens have] the right to transparency in your client's services that were paid for with the public's money," Taylor wrote in his six-page letter to Elson.

Agran, Krom and Kang gave Forde & Mollrich--the trio's private campaign consultants--the huge financial windfall allegedly to do public-relations work for a government park that still has not been built.

Audits have already bolstered evidence the trio had no clue how to build a park; wasted $200 million without achieving a single major, planned accomplishment; focused on converting the development into a political operation geared to aid re-election campaigns; and diverted large sums of money to personal pals.

Despite those facts, Agran, Krom and Kang have posed as innocent of any incompetence.

It's not their fault they ran out of money, they angrily claimed after city voters handed over the Irvine City Council to a Republican majority of Christina Shea, Jeff Lalloway and Steven Choi in January 2013.

Agran is hoping his alliance seizes back control of the council after November's elections and he can crush additional audit revelations.

According to Taylor's letter, Forde & Mollrich's secrecy will result in an upcoming council meeting at which auditors could be authorized to force compliance by involving the sheriff and the presiding Orange County Superior Court judge.

"We believe that the city has been damaged by such lack of cooperation, and on behalf of the city of Irvine, we reserve the right to pursue Forde & Mollrich for all losses and expenses," concluded Taylor, whose firm helped city of Bell residents recover government assets swindled by public officials in a secret, outrageous pay scheme for bureaucrats.

Mollrich's partner is Agran pal Arnold Forde, who has personal ties to Tony Rackauckas, the district attorney refusing to launch a criminal grand jury probe into the Great Park swindle.

Forde worked as the DA's campaign consultant in 2002 and allowed Rackauckas to go half a decade without paying a $25,000 debt.

UPDATE, 6:00 P.M.: City officials say Forde & Mollrich ignored today's deadline to end their secrecy over a government public relations contract.

Go HERE to see a summary of Agran's self-induced, Great Park nightmare.

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Email: rscottmoxley@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @RScottMoxley.


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12 comments
ltpar
ltpar topcommenter

Send in the FBI, they won't be as gentle as the City of Irvine has been.  

Mike Fowler
Mike Fowler

Politics - From the Latin root derivatives Poly - Meaning many and or various and Tic's - Blood sucking creatures that spread disease and threaten lives

Brayden Mills
Brayden Mills

Yeah that makes sense as to why the park sucks.

Julie Wahlstedt
Julie Wahlstedt

This was a boon doggle from day one where are the indictments??

Sharona Toranto
Sharona Toranto

Some people have never been to the OCGP nor the events and it took 90 years to build Central Park. Also, there are no new programs at OCGP and those they do have are not heavily attended because of no PR. Shall we have an audit of the NEW MAJORITY, in which they Tend to change meeting times with no advance notice to the public and have it during the day when people are less likely to attend, THE NEW MAJORITY HAS NO TRANSPARENCY AND THIS IS NOT A FORMAL AUDIT AND THESE AUDITS HAVE ALREADY BEEN PERFORMED, WHAT ABOUT WHAT WAS PREVIOUSLY WRITTEN ABOUT MAYOR CHOI GOING ON A TRIP WITH A PERSON FROM THE FIVE POINTS AND LATER GIVING THEM 800 acres of THE OCGP TO BUILD MORE HOMES THAT THE CONSTITUENTS DID NOT APPROVE. ALSO, we Have yet to see what the FAIR Practices commission has come up with the New Majority, Choi Lalloway and Shea from the Previous election. Also, we should have an investigation on why the New Majority and The IUSD has allowed a school to be built on A TOXIC WASTE SITE AND NEAR A JAIL. Please!!!

misslee
misslee

What a disgrace! Of course Tony wouldn't do anything to pursue charges.... So fed up with these people getting away with this crap! Sigh...

fishwithoutbicycle
fishwithoutbicycle topcommenter

::sigh::

There's no end in sight to this "Agran"vation is there?

paullucas714
paullucas714 topcommenter

25 k in debt not even attempted to be collected? I smell a bribe to avoid prosecution. 

nooneuknow
nooneuknow

let's see jail time for these criminals

20ftjesus
20ftjesus topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle  ...and wait until you see the 5Points alternative plan, HA!  5Pts is grassing the whole lot!


However, there's hope in the upcoming mayoral candidate.  She's got good vibes and is well-liked in Irvine -- she's gonna toss Choi right on his head after she shoves him out of his office.  Count on it.

rscottmoxley
rscottmoxley topcommenter

@fishwithoutbicycle  You are so right. This Mr. Larry Aggravation character is a piece of two-faced work unseen in modern OC history. He yaps in public to his senile, senior citizen, knee-jerk, lefty crowd about the importance of government transparency and has been our county's most secretive, incompetent, corrupt official since Dick Nixon found Yes Men, Cuban burglars, Bebe Rebozo and a pile of hush money. 

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