Monday, April 6, 2009 at 8 p.m.
Millionaire Richard J. O'Neill died, reportedly of natural causes, on April 6, but not before the government took its last piece of flesh from Orange County's monumental Democrat.
The 85-year-old real estate developer who headed the California Democratic Party 30 years ago and was a major contributor to Democratic candidates in OC and throughout the state during his life was fined $1,500 by the state's Fair Political Practices Commission a month a two days before he died.
His mistake? Failing to fulfill public disclosure requirements for a $10,000 contribution to the Phil Angelides 2006 campaign for governor. Can't a dying guy catch a break?
His family's massive South County ranch formed Mission Viejo, Ladera Ranch and Rancho Santa Margarita and, in exchange for lucrative housing and commercial development rights, created large public park areas.
I can attest to a large number of people who loved O'Neill dearly.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly