This month, Orange County’s state fairgrounds in Costa Mesa formally opened a memorial to agricultural workers – a far cry from where the agency stood nearly a decade ago when fair board members led the charge to privatize what they termed “an underutilized asset.”
It’s been more than 14 months since Orange County voters approved an ethics commission. Still, only one county supervisor – Shawn Nelson – has appointed a board member to the important oversight panel, which has yet to publicize any actions or the appointment process.
Publisher Norberto Santana Jr. writes that Orange County supervisors should reimburse local taxpayers for the more than $120,000 in legal fees they just had to pay Voice of OC after losing a public records lawsuit. It likely won’t be the last time the courts are needed to pry public records loose and Santana says Voice of OC will stay on the case.
With many insiders scratching their heads about the recent grand jury report on jailhouse snitches, focus is increasingly on the upcoming race for DA in 2018. Amidst lingering questions about current DA Tony Rackauckas’ leadership and the judgment of his challenger, Supervisor Todd Spitzer, a third option has arisen out of Chapman University’s law school, Professor Mario Mainero.
Despite a critical grand jury report on the horizon and two sets of ongoing lawsuits from Sheriff’s Special Officers and Deputy Sheriff’s rank and file arguing her department is politicized and mismanaged, OC Sheriff Sandra Hutchens keeps playing it cool.
A state bill AB 1479 – up for vote on Friday – would create a fine for agencies that grossly violate California’s Public Records Act. A recent successful Voice of OC lawsuit against the County of Orange, appealing denied public records about an evangelist handcuffed by a county supervisor while armed, is a prime test case for the fine.
As homeless encampments continue to pop up in places like local libraries, civic centers and the riverbed along the 57 Freeway, a growing chorus is asking if a housing bond, similar to the popular, Measure M transportation tax, for affordable and supportive housing could spur a true continuum of homelessness care in Orange County.