Orange County supervisors Tuesday unanimously picked a team of developers to manage a long-awaited overhaul of Dana Point Harbor with new space for shops, restaurants, boat slips, and hotels – as one supervisor raised heated questions about how the winning team came to be chosen.
With Orange County supervisors poised to approve a developer to remake Dana Point Harbor this week, two different approaches appear for a public/private sector partnership to build hotels, docks and shops at the harbor. One bidder – Dana Point Partners – wants a $45 million subsidy from taxpayers while another, Dana Point Harbor Partners, seeks $20 million, both largely to fund parking garages and potential nearby street improvements.
Former Dana Point Police Chief Lynn Koehmstedt stayed 159 nights at the Dana Point Marina Inn, while another high-level official used the discount at least 75 times. Supervisor Todd Spitzer says they should be prosecuted.
Dana Point Harbor Director Brad Gross retired Thursday following an audit that determined the county-owned Dana Point Marina Inn handed out steep discounts to high-level harbor and Dana Point city workers for hundreds of room nights.
High-level employees of Dana Point Harbor and the city of Dana Point took advantage of a poorly documented employee discount program for room stays that had no approval or oversight from the Board of Supervisors.
Dave Zenger, a former political aide to County Supervisors’ Chairman Shawn Nelson, who left the county after his own investigations turned up too much heat, says today’s landscape at the County Hall of Administration screams for an elected auditor.