Riots near Disneyland. A nuclear plant radiation leak. The meltdown of the county government’s leadership in the wake of sexual assault charges against a top county executive with ties to the county Republican Party.
Voice of OC was front and center on a host of stories in 2012:
RIOTS IN ANAHEIM: Longstanding tensions between working-class Latinos and City Hall boiled over into full-blown civil unrest this summer after police officers killed an unarmed man and broke up a community demonstration. Voice of OC probed what city leadership could have done differently.
A Neighborhood Is Pushed to the Brink
Protesters Clash With Riot Police Outside Anaheim City Hall
Councilwoman: Violence a ‘Win’ for Political Aims
Could Anaheim Riot Have Been Stopped Before It Started?
Anaheim Police Block Protest March on Disneyland
Can Anaheim Repair a Broken Trust With Latino Community?
History of Anaheim’s Thin Blue Line
COUNTY SEX SCANDAL: Voice of OC led news coverage of the July arrest of county executive Carlos Bustamante for sexual assault against female employees, which revealed a culture of fear within county government and forced a sobering re-examination of its complaint process.
Sources: Bustamante Sex Case Botched by OC Officials
Santa Ana City Councilman Arrested on Sex Charges
Bustamante Scandal Sends Another Top Official Packing
Drakodaidis Attorney Levels More Charges Against Supervisors
Audit Report Details Culture of Fear at County Public Works
Another Sex Crime Allegation on County Supervisors’ Docket
THE POLITICAL INFLUENCE OF DISNEY: During the November elections, Voice of OC showed a side of the Happiest Place on Earth that most don’t see by exposing how Disneyland Resort wields influence at City Hall and local political action committees.
Disney’s Actual Position Regarding Council Districts
Disney’s Hidden Hand in the Anaheim City Council Race
Disneyland Resort’s Contributions to Local PACs Top $300,000
OFFICIALS HIDING RECORDS: Whether it’s emails showing political favors or a legal claim alleging retaliation, sometimes local officials just prefer to not hand over public records. Voice of OC regularly challenges municipal authorities on First Amendment access issues.
Anaheim City Official Orders Staff to Purge Records
Another Order Issued to Destroy Anaheim City Records
Expert: Anaheim Records Policy Violates State Law
Anaheim Reconsidering City’s Retention Policy for Emails
Anaheim: Want Public Records? Buy Us Two New Computers
Voice of OC Files Suit to Reveal Letter Kept Secret by County
County Releases Redacted Version of Controversial Drakodaidis Claim
KELLY THOMAS BEATING CASE: In May, Voice of OC’s YouTube channel provided the public its first glimpse of a graphic surveillance video of the beating death of Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man, at the hands of Fullerton police. Several officers have been fired over Thomas’ death, and three councilmen were recalled, largely over their handling of the incident. A trial is expected next year.
Video of Thomas Beating Shown at Preliminary Hearing
Judge Orders Trial for Officers in Death of Kelly Thomas
Fullerton Pays $1-Million Settlement to Kelly Thomas’ Mother
Sources: Fullerton Officers to Be Fired for Thomas Beating
Three Fullerton Councilmen Ousted
Fullerton Officers Plead Not Guilty in Thomas Beating Case
‘Culture of Complacency’ Led to Fullerton Police Beating Death
Fullerton Police to Clear Kelly Thomas of Any Wrongdoing
TURMOIL AT CALOPTIMA: Voice of OC has led coverage of the unfolding drama at the county’s health plan for 400,000 low-income, disabled and elderly county residents. The agency has faced a mass exodus of executives since county Supervisor Janet Nguyen gave hospital corporations and other providers a stronger voice on its board.
CalOptima CEO Richard Chambers Says He’ll Resign
Anonymous Letter Adds Another Twist to CalOptima Drama
Supervisors Name New CalOptima Board Members
CalOptima Loses Another Executive, the 16th to Depart in 15 Months
Former CalOptima Board Chairman Rejects Demand for Repayment
Key Quality-of-Care Rating for Elders Drops in CalOptima Program
SAN ONOFRE RADIATION LEAK: Voice of OC has led news coverage of the small radiation leak in January that has spelled major trouble for the future of the plant that provides 20 percent of Southern California’s electricity.
Regulator Vows Full Accounting of Tube Failure at San Onofre
Expert Says Edison Misled Regulators on San Onofre Changes
San Onofre Power Plant Still Leads the Nation in Safety Complaints
Questions Remain Regarding Review of San Onofre Changes
Regulators Say They Can’t Find Key Record on San Onofre Changes
Boxer Seeks Records On Changes to San Onofre Generators
NRC Chief Says Nuclear Safety Regulations Might Be Inadequate
WELL-CONNECTED CONSULTANTS: Voice of OC continues to shine a light on lobbying efforts across the county.
Firm Wins Public Bidding Even When Not Best Qualified
Curt Pringle’s Dance With California’s Lobbying Law
Curt Pringle: Still Master of His Universe
Santa Ana Streetcar Project Runs Into More Controversy
DISTRICTS FIGHTING FAMILIES WHO SEEK SPECIAL ED: A Voice of OC special investigative series delved into an obscure but powerful public agency that confronts parents who want special education services for their children.
OC Families Face Fierce Fight for Special Ed Services
A ‘Brotherhood’ Fights Families Wanting Special Ed
QUESTIONS OF POLITICAL FAVORITISM IN COUNTY GOVERNMENT: Voice of OC also focused reporting coverage on how government executives, elected officials and staffers influence public spending on themselves.
Emails Raise Alarms About the County’s Hiring Process
SAFETY CONCERNS OVER AMBULANCE COMPANY: While Los Angeles officials accused Shoreline of jeopardizing a patient’s health, a Voice of OC investigative series examined how the firm sailed through approvals in Orange County.
Ambulance Company Raises Concerns in Both OC and LA
Ambulance Firm in Trouble in LA but Fast Tracked in Orange County
QUIRK-SILVA’S UPSET WIN: Voice of OC was among the first news agencies to connect the state’s new Democratic supermajority to Orange County this past November, delving into the nuts and bolts of Sharon Quirk-Silva’s upset win in the North County’s 65th Assembly District.
Norby Losing in 65th Assembly Race
Quirk-Silva Leads in Assembly Race; Supermajority at Stake
From Punk Band Bassist to Impresario of the Ballot Box
$158-MILLION HOTEL SUBSIDY: Voice of OC broke the story that Anaheim officials were planning a tax giveaway to hotel developers. The ensuing community reaction included an unsuccessful ballot initiative and a successful lawsuit that has blocked the deal … for now.
Hoteliers Gave Councilman Illegal Campaign Cash
Anaheim Council OKs Subsidies for GardenWalk Hotels
Anaheim Residents Vent Their Anger Over Hotel Subsidy
Senator Wants Investors Disclosed When Tax Money Involved
Anaheim Council Rejects Citywide Vote on Hotel Subsidy
‘Take Back Anaheim’ Initiative Drive Targets Future Subsidies
Anaheim Council Slashes Compensation for Mayor’s Aide
Anaheim Council’s $158-Million Hotel Subsidy Overturned
CONTROVERSIAL WATER DEALINGS: In a multibillion-dollar industry notorious for backroom deals, local water districts were investigated by Voice of OC in a series of reports.
Water Official’s Votes Raise Conflict of Interest Questions
Conflict Questions Raised On Water Official’s Desal Vote
Questions Surround Secret Talks About Water Districts’ Desert Project
COUNTY TO RECOGNIZE HARVY MILK DAY: Voice of OC led news coverage as Orange County supervisors grappled with recognition of Harvey Milk Day.
Activists Want OC Recognition of Harvey Milk Holiday
A Supervisor’s Take on Proclamations in Orange County
County Supervisors Will Observe Harvey Milk Day for the First Time
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