Complaint to FPPC: Anaheim Mayor Has Conflict of Interest

A complaint to the state’s political watchdog alleges Anaheim Mayor Tom Tait violated a state conflict of interest law by casting City Council votes on matters relating to the Orange County Transportation Authority, which contracts with his environmental engineering firm.

The 55-page complaint, filed by 19-year-old juvenile justice commissioner Connor Traut, claims that Tait broke the 1974 Political Reform Act on several occasions when he voted on matters that concern the Orange County Transportation Authority.

Traut, who is a protege of Anaheim City Councilman Jordan Brandman, sent a copy of the complaint to Voice of OC late Friday. FPPC officials could not immediately be reached for comment to verify that they had received it.

As Voice of OC detailed earlier this week, Tait drew fire for voting in November to appoint himself to the OCTA board, even though his firm, Tait Environmental Services, has a $330,114 contract with OCTA for work on underground storage tanks.

His critics at the time of the vote said the contract presented a conflict of interest.

And though Tait abstains from City Council votes on some OCTA items, there are others that he continues to vote on, according to the complaint. His votes on those items as well as his vote on a special selection committee to appoint himself to the OCTA board violated the state law, the complaint alleges.

When reached for comment, Tait said that he had all his votes cleared by Anaheim City Attorney Michael Houston as well as OCTA counsel.

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