Former OC Fair Board Member David Padilla is entitled to his own opinion, he is not entitled to his own facts.

FACT: Retired Assemblyman Scott Baugh was not involved in the Governor Schwarzenegger’s 2009 decision to sell the Orange County Fairgrounds due to the State’s dire fiscal condition. FACT: The State of California, Department of General Services, managed the Fairgrounds sale – not the Fair Board.

FACT: Baugh termed-out of the legislature in 2000.

FACT: Baugh was employed briefly at Platinum Advisors, leaving in 2007 – two years before the fairgrounds sale was announced. (Padilla – this is the important part – note dates)

FACT: Platinum Advisors was retained in 2009 to work with the Schwarzenegger Administration on the parameters of the prospective sale. Baugh was long gone from Platinum.

FACT: The Nossaman law firm was retained with partner retired state senator Dick Ackerman to advise the Fair Board on a prospective sale – Baugh has NEVER worked for Nossaman.

FACT: Baugh was never appointed to the Fair Board and was not involved in the Board’s effort to save the fairgrounds from development.

FACT: Some of us attempted to form a not-for-profit corporation to preserve the fairgrounds as a fairgrounds. Baugh was not involved.

FACT: The not-for-profit corporation never got off the ground. Padilla was never considered due to his erratic behavior, poor attendance, and propensity to create uncomfortable situations with female staff and volunteers. In short, he was a legal liability to the 32nd Agricultural District and any potential successor – key reasons he was not reappointed by the Governor in 2010.

FACT: The 32nd Agricultural District (OC Fair & Events Center) is a public agency. All payments for advocacy and legal representation are approved and audited. No one “laundered” money.

FACT: Padilla was removed as Finance Committee member due to poor attendance and general incompetence. As a board member he had access to all documents, and received them.

FACT: After wild claims were made by special-interests doing business at the fairgrounds (equestrians and failing swap meet owner) two investigations were conducted by the Orange County District Attorney.

FACT: Padilla’s allegations were debunked when the DA concluded on November 24, 2014 (attached) … “The result of the OCDA’s additional investigation is that there is no evidence that any former members of the OC Fair Board violated any criminal laws with respect to their activities surrounding the State’s proposed sale of the OC Fairgrounds. Consequently, the OCDA is closing its inquiry into this matter, and no further action will be taken.”

Padilla is factually wrong in his claims that Scott Baugh was involved in Governor Schwarzenegger’s decision to sell the Orange County fairgrounds. Baugh wasn’t in the legislature, and didn’t work for ANY of the firms retained by the fair board during the sale.

Padilla should read the attached District Attorney’s findings and apologize to Scott Baugh.

David Ellis served on the 32nd Agricultural District 2007 – 2014 (OC Fair & Events Center), serving as board chairman in 2011.

Opinions expressed in editorials belong to the authors and not Voice of OC.

Voice of OC is interested in hearing different perspectives and voices. If you want to weigh in on this issue or others please contact Voice of OC Involvement Editor Theresa Sears at

For a different view on this issue, consider: 

Padilla: Scott Baugh Was at Center of Rigged Sweetheart Deal To Sell OC Fairgrounds

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