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Great Park Investigative Report & Audit are Out; Political Witch Hunt Confirmed

Balloon Ride at The Great Park Irvine
Balloon Ride at The Great Park Irvine

The long awaited reports on the Great Park Forensic Audit and investigation are out.  The City of Irvine posted the lengthy reports to the city’s website Monday Night around 6PM.

You can read the reports from Aleshire and Wynder here. And the report from HSNO here.  There’s been a lot of whispers about some explosive deposition from an employee at Kenny the Printer and you can read that here. And there’s a couple of CYA statements from former Great Park CEO Mike Ellzey and City Manager Sean Joyce that look practically identical.  The nut is both the law firm and the auditor feel there’s more work to be done, and they are there to help — so thie “final” report is really a pitch for more work.

The investigators are focused more on trying to tie Great Park contracts with those who have associated themselves with the political campaigns of Larry Agran over the years.  They also don’t seem to understand that printers offer discounts to customers who use printing services regularly as Forde & Mollrich did with Kenny The Printer over the years (I get volume discounts from my printer; there’s no magic here).  But that didn’t stop whispers that the timing of this deposition was supposed to be very damaging.  The investigators clearly don’t understand the nature of public relations, public affairs and marketing and how it touches so many aspects of a major project which works remarkably well with the new city council who doesn’t get marketing and PR either.  But I certainly appreciate the reminder that Lennar was supposed to break up the runways in 2006 and didn’t do it.

But if we’re going to start connecting city/Great Park contracts to those involved with campaigns of elected officials, when does the investigation into individuals who work for FivePoint, Starpointe Ventures, and Fleischman & Associates begin on the campaigns of the current city council majority begin?

The person who looks bad here is Ellzey — the CEO should have been the key person to keep track of all the moving parts and should have been the one to manage the consultants.  If the consultants managed him, as Ellzey alleges, its due to his inability to manage the job.

What Christina Shea and Jeff Lalloway (and a legion of Irvine Republicans) want here is evidence of criminal activity on Agran’s part.  There’s nothing criminal here.  There’s going to be an attempt to collect funds from some of the contractors and an effort to get Agran before a judge.

Lastly, for the Irvine City Council to be all about transparency but to tell the state assembly to stay out of any investigation about how the city conducted themselves with the management of this audit is, in a word, hypocritical.  This was an investigation that was all about politics paid for by taxpayers.  And with Agran not in office, mission accomplished.  But the ongoing investigation is more about settling old political scores than anything else.  Let the sunshine in and lets investigate the investigation.

4 Comments

  1. Michael St Claire Michael St Claire March 24, 2015

    Will the outcome of this Audit or Investigation also change the redevelopment settlement between The City of Irvine and the State of California regarding lost redevelopment funds for Great Park? If so how much could that cost Irvine in future revenue that The Council was already making suggested usage plans for.

  2. j carter j carter March 26, 2015

    “The Master Plan was killed not by the recession or the loss of the redevelopment funding, it was killed by its own hubris, the failure to engage in a honest dialogue about how it could be funded, and failure to keep the consultants operating with any sort of affordable budget,” Aleshire and Taylor concluded.

    • Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | March 26, 2015

      when you cherry pick the people you talk to, that’s a pre-determined outcome directed by the Star Chamber.

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