Garofalo Playing Taps?

Photo by Jack GouldWith the Orange County district attorney's investigation into his alleged conflicts of interest drumrolling toward a crescendo, Huntington Beach City Councilman Dave Garofalo may be playing taps.

"My life has been in turmoil for over two years. I simply cannot take it anymore," Garofalo wrote in a mass e-mail letter to supporters, one of whom forwarded it to the Weekly. "I know of no one in modern times more closely investigated than I have been."

Based on a search warrant issued by the DA on April 12, Garofalo faces possible indictment for multiple felonies and misdemeanors punishable by fines and imprisonment. Among other things, Garofalo is suspected of casting City Council votes on issues benefiting people who advertised in his publications. Sources close to the investigation have told the Weekly the DA would offer Garofalo and his attorney, Al Stokke, a late-November preview, giving them an opportunity to settle before trial. Phone calls to Garofalo, Stokke and DA investigators were not returned.

"Unfortunately for me—the 1934 Law called 1090 will probably conclude that one cannot own a newspaper have ads and vote on projects," Garofalo acknowledged in his e-mail.

A Section 1090 violation means lifetime disqualification from public office. Garofalo seemed to acknowledge this, too, hinting he may resign from the City Council before his term expires at the end of 2002.

"I need to get back to my life, my family, my health and my loves . . ." he wrote. "So, I am moving along a very fast track to get my life back. There will undoubtedly be a great deal more pain for me than pleasure as I move along this path—but I can't get it over with until I confront my daemons."

Garofalo's e-mail did not explain how this would affect his early-November announcement that he would seek election to the state Board of Equalization.

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