The state Department of General Services has advised bidders for the Orange County Fairgrounds that Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger intends to move forward with a sale to Facilities Management West for the 150-acre historic property in Costa Mesa.
The announcement comes as city officials announced their own plans for legal action to block the sale on Tuesday night. Costa Mesa was originally in on the deal to buy the Fairgrounds from the state with FMW as a partner.
That proposal fell apart last month when it looked as if the Legislature would balk at approving a sale.
Still in the wings is the governor’s Fair Board, which has also threatened a lawsuit arguing that the Fairgrounds belong to the people of Orange County, not the state.
Another main Fairgrounds player, the OC Marketplace vendor Tel-Phil Enterprises, also has threatened a lawsuit, arguing that the entire process has been stacked in favor of FMW.
And sources close to the issue say the entire matter could soon be cast back into the lap of state Attorney General Jerry Brown to investigate, just two weeks before a gubernatorial election in which he is a candidate.
— NORBERTO SANTANA, JR.