Pulido in Line for $500,000 ‘Finders Fee’ from State Building Sale

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido would receive a $500,000 finders fee if a controversial sale of 24 state buildings goes through.

From the Times story:

The allegation about Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido came to light during a deposition three days ago, when attorneys for the opponents questioned state Treasurer Bill Lockyer. They are asking a San Francisco Superior Court judge to require that the state divulge full details of the sale, which has been criticized as secretive and a waste of taxpayers’ money.

Judge Charlotte Wollard could decide as early as Friday whether to block the sale of 11 parcels, including the home of the California Supreme Court. The governor’s office has said the sale would provide much-needed revenue to help fill the state’s gaping budget deficit.

During questioning, Lockyer said he had received a phone call from an Orange County attorney who is a friend of his and Pulido’s. The attorney, Frank Barbaro, told Lockyer that he had been approached by Pulido; the mayor told Barbaro that he was worried about the controversy surrounding the sale of the state buildings.

When the Times reporter contacted Pulido regarding the payment, the mayor argued that the $500,000 was not a “‘finder’s fee,’ but rather a ‘success fee’ payable only if the deal goes through.”

Then — in a classic bit of Pulido maneuvering — the mayor called the reporter back to say that he wasn’t receiving the money after all. From the story:

Updated, 5 p.m.: In a strange twist, Pulido later contacted The Times to say that the partnership was reorganizing, some of the companies he had helped introduce had pulled out, and that he would not be paid the $500,000.

Voice of OC reporter Adam Elmahrek is at the Santa Ana City Council meeting tonight and will be getting reactions from Pulido and others. Check back in the morning for his report.