PR Firm's Secrecy Demand For Orange County Great Park Spending Will Go To Court
Beth Krom: Government park spending should be secret because we diverted $7.23 million to our political operatives and my council majority would have continued to waste that money if voters hadn't put local Republicans in power in 2012.
Orange County Great Park contractors who suspiciously received more than $7.23 million in taxpayer funds to perform public relations for a non-existent city park and are arguing their records should be shielded from inspection by residents, learned bad news this afternoon.
The Irvine City Council voted to use the legal system to compel Forde & Mollrich--a well-connected, Newport Beach-based PR firm--to comply with terms of their government contract that requires cooperation with audits.
A prior city council majority--Democrats Larry Agran, Beth Krom and Sukhee Kang--outrageously handed Forde & Mollrich a no-bid, no benchmark PR contract that put more than $100,000 a month into the bank account of political operatives Arnold Forde and Stu Mollrich while claiming the city had no money to build the park.
Forde & Mollrich officials insist that records of whatever they did or didn't do on the controversial government project--at one point California largest public works project--should be private.
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Proving again that some folks with higher education degrees are morons, Harvey H. Liss--a Ph.D and an Agran city appointee, claimed at the meeting that taxpayers should feel lucky they only paid Forde & Mollrich $100,000 a month.
Councilwoman Christina Shea said she was disappointed that Liss would support government contractors hiding documents from the public.
Agran's most loyal, robotic shill, Krom--as is her way--argued that park spending secrecy was necessary.
The session seemed to unnerve Agran, the city's most dictatorial, professional politician for decades.
But neither Krom nor Agran wanted to record a public vote against the audit, so they joined the majority to press the secrecy issue with a judge in Orange County Superior Court.
For more than a decade, citizens have been demanding a criminal grand jury probe of Agran-Krom-Kang Great Park shenanigans, but Forde is pals with Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, who has adamantly refused to launch any serious probe.
Anthony R. Taylor, the city's independent auditor counsel, told the council this afternoon that he's uncovered discrepancies with records Forde & Mollrich submitted for pay.
Taylor also told the council that the law permits the city to ask for the sheriff's cooperation in forcing the consultants to comply with the contract--cooperation that might include arresting the offenders.
The city gave Ford & Mollrich a 5 p.m. deadline on Monday to surrender the public records, but the firm refused to comply.
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