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

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.

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Hot on the Heels of Robin Williams' Death, Orange County Releases Suicide Data

The death of Robin Williams has brought much attention to suicide.

Whether by coincidence or opportunity to strike while the Robin Williams news cycle is hot, the Orange County Health Care Agency released a suicide report Thursday.

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Fans Rally to Keep the Angels in Anaheim

All photos by William Vo/OC Weekly
The Catch restaurant was the place to catch "Keep the Angels in Anaheim" fever.

Hours before your Anaheim Angels of Anaheim would rally to beat the Philadelphia Phillies at the Big A Wednesday night, dozens of their fans rallied nearby to keep the Major League Baseball franchise in town.

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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.

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Orange County Fairgrounds Preservationists Seek Jerry Brown Veto of Privatization Bill

Photo by Trevor Gaston/OC Weekly
The photo of the Orange County Fair is not vintage, the Polaroid camera that shot it this year is.

Remember all the holler when Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to sell the state-owned Orange County Fairgrounds to a private company? The Governator has since left Sacramento for what will surely be an Oscar-winning role in The Expendables XVII. But as the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society reminds, the possibility of privatization remains.

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John Moorlach Believes OCTA Streetcar Project Will Leave Taxpayers with the Benz

Orange County Board of Supervisors
John Moorlach (right) and a big titan arum (a.k.a. "corpse flower" for the odor it emits) at Orange Coast College in June. The county supervisor thinks an OCTA streetcar project really stinks also.
"We're going to spend millions of dollars on 1,700 people? Why don't we just buy them all Mercedes-Benzes?"

-Orange County Supervisor John Moorlach, in his dual role as an Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) board member, ridiculing daily ridership projections of 1,700 people for a $238 million streetcar project for downtown Santa Ana that would link with a new Garden Grove transportation center.

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Santa Ana PD Detains Dozens of Dispensary Employees and Patrons

Laurie Avocado / Flickr
An eerily empty dispensary...

They didn't take money or marijuana--they took people. On the afternoon of July 31, and well into the evening, Santa Ana Police Department raided ("attacked," according to some) dispensaries, detaining and processing approximately 80 dispensary owners, employees, and medical marijuana patients. They were taken via paddy wagon to the county jail.

See Also: Santa Ana Pot Crackdown Begins Anew

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Orange County Judge Faces Historic Decision in Prosecutorial Misconduct Case

Josue Rivas/OC Weekly
Scott Sanders argues win-at-all-cost prosecutors cheated his client, Scott Dekraai (far left)
A month ago, a three-justice panel at the California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana observed that jail deputies at the Orange County Sheriff's Department (OCSD) "engaged in abhorrent conduct and were derelict in their duties."

The panel--composed of justices Kathleen O'Leary, William Rylaarsdam and Richard Fybel--noted the "extreme nature of [the deputies'] conduct" didn't just "violate the public trust and the spirit of what we expect from those entrusted to enforce the law," but was also unmatched in state legal annals.

That documented OCSD jail deputy corruption included destroying evidence; committing perjury; doctoring logs; unnecessarily firing weapons at inmates sitting on toilets; ignoring medical emergencies; bolstering the power of incarcerated organized-crime bosses; encouraging inmate-on-inmate violence; and spending work hours running private businesses, sleeping, surfing the Internet, watching TV or texting love interests.

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Santa Ana Federal Judge Seeks August 2015 Trial on $5 Bil Suit Against Standard & Poor's

Photo by flickr user Brook Ward
Watch for falling assets.

Hey, remember that worldwide economic collapse of 2008? My, how time flies when you're watching your 401k vaporize. Well, the litigating over those blamed for helping cause the free-fall is not over, as evidenced by a case in U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter's courtroom, where the U.S. Justice Department is suing the Standard & Poor's credit rating system for $5 billion.

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Assemblyman Tom Daly, State Bar and Labor Groups Hold Fraud Prevention Meet TODAY

Tom Daly hosts a fraud prevention workshop in Spanish and English.

Assemblyman Tom Daly (D-Santa Ana), the State Bar of California, the Orange County Labor Federation and Laborers Local 652 host a "Fraud Prevention Workshop" from 5:30-7:30 this evening at the Laborer's Hall, 1532 E. Chestnut, Santa Ana.

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