By: Irvine Councilwoman Christina Shea
Millions of dollars in no-bid contracts were awarded to political allies of former council leader Larry Agran. Hagen, Streiff, Newton & Oshiro Accountants (HSNO) forensic audit preliminary findings found significant waste and abuse surrounding no-bid contracts. Chief among the controversial contracts was Public relations firm Forde & Mollrich! Forde & Mollrich were paid $100,000 per-month to promote a park that largely didn’t exist. Forde & Mollrich have collected $20 million through city contracts over the years. Forde & Mollrich refused to respond to HSNO initial requests and forced the city to issue a city issued subpoena earlier this month.
The public has a right to know what happened to over $200 million tax payer money spent on the 1,300-acre Great Park, with very little to show for! Mayor Steven Choi, Mayor Pro Tem Jeffrey Lalloway and I commissioned this forensic audit immediately after being sworn in last year in order to find out exactly how this money was spent.
“Forde & Mollrich’s recent request is “political harassment,” “intimidation,” and an attempt to bog down HSNO’s work. This could impede the efforts of the investigation which is very troubling to me. It is like if a grand jury was investigating someone and then that someone asks the grand jury for all their documents.”
Non compliance of some of the Great Park contractors is just pushing up the cost of the audit investigation! We will do our best to try to recoup these dollars to our taxpayers at the conclusion of the final audit.