Government watchdog Shirley Grindle and former Orange County Common Cause President Bill Mitchell have sent letters to county Supervisor Michelle Steel and District Attorney Tony Rackauckas demanding they repay taxpayers all costs for 16,000 postcards inviting voters to a “community coffee” that only could accommodate 50 people.
Nelson received $539 worth of wine from Potomac Partners, a Washington D.C.-based lobbying firm, a few weeks after he cast a deciding vote to award them a county contract. He says his approach is legal because he paid the contractors for the items out of campaign funds and will use them at an office event.
Peter Agarwal, who was recently appointed as the county’s first ethics commissioner, wrote that he is on the governing board of a national association. That’s not true, he acknowledged in a recent interview.
Among those who will be subject to enforcement by the commission are the county supervisors and their election opponents. The changes would make it so commissioners “serve at the pleasure of the supervisor” who appointed them, said Supervisor Andrew Do, who supports the effort.
Denah Hoard, an attorney with the city of Orange, was hired as executive director for the upcoming county ethics commission. Nine months after being approved by voters, the commission still hasn’t been created.
The state Fair Political Practices Commission is fining the campaign committee behind a ballot measure for a county ethics commission because it failed to disclose funding of a robocall call featuring Supervisor Todd Spitzer.
In 2016, Voice of OC delved into how corporations spend to influence public policy, the ways in which politicians pull the levers of government to stay in power, and how they use their public offices for private gain.
Retired labor leader Nick Berardino reflects on the effort to establish the county’s first veterans’ museum. County homeless czar Susan Price charts out a strategy for combating homelessness. County supervisors get called out for politicking with public resources.