The Fullerton City Council will select a replacement for Councilwoman Jennifer Fitzgerald to serve as a director of Southern California’s largest water agency because her new job with the Curt Pringle & Associates lobbying firm created a conflict of interest.
Pringle is one of the most influential behind-the-scenes players in Orange County politics and his company’s clients include the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, as well as several smaller Orange County water agencies.
Fitzgerald joined Pringle’s firm as a vice president, according to the company web site, although it’s not clear when she started and no one from the firm was available Friday to discuss her employment.
The Pringle web site prominently lists her Fullerton city council connection to the Metropolitan Water District or MWD, which delivers water to about 17 million people in Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties. Separately, MWD is listed as one of Pringle’s clients.
“Curt Pringle & Associates has a competitive advantage in serving clients who seek to do business with state or local governments,” says the web site. “Each member of our team possesses and maintains extensive contacts with elected and appointed officials and government staff throughout the region to effectively communicate client objectives.”
Fitzgerald’s career in Republican politics includes serving as an aide to Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and running her own campaign fundraising business.
Pringle is a former mayor of Anaheim and member of the state Assembly, where he served as speaker for nearly a year in the mid-1990s. His influence is so strong that Anaheim Mayor Pro Tem Kris Murray, a Pringle ally, once referred to herself, Pringle and a few of their associates as “masters of the universe.”
Murray is the Anaheim representative on Metropolitan’s board of directors.
The Fullerton City Council meeting begins Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. To view the agenda, click here.