Spitzer & Lalloway Try To Stick It To Taxpayers
For someone like Supervisor Spitzer who is trying to position himself for a run to be the next District Attorney, he sure is making some highly questionable decisions lately. The current one has him trying to hire Irvine Councilman Jeff Lalloway for an UNPRECEDENTED $190k/year as a "policy advisor" of his. That's more than a Supervisor makes, that's more than a County Department Head makes, that's more than double the salary of two or three experienced policy advisors!
There are many layers to this onion - too many to cover in one attempt, so I'll try to go through just enough so your eyes don't burn more than necessary. First, Spitzer can hire anyone he wants as an employee on his staff and it doesn't require BOS approval unless it's outside the norm - and this proposed arrangement most definitely is - especially in light of the fact he just hired a retired OC Deputy DA on contract for $25k through December.
The details of the Lalloway contract haven't been shown yet(that would be nice if they could do that). Regardless, Lalloway is a divorce attorney. Unless I missed a major story or special study, I am apparently unaware of the magnitude of couples in crisis in the 3rd District that Spitzer needs Lalloway there to advise him on marital mayhem. There is simply no way to justify this to the hard-working taxpayers of Orange County. The spin coming out of Spitzer's mouth in the OC Register is atrocious. The talk around inner circles is Spitzer fancies himself untouchable since he recently got re-elected and and will have another four years regardless of taxpayer outcry.
Last year news broke that Spitzer had made a citizens arrest of some poor guy proselytizing him at a Wahoo's Fish Taco down in Foothill Ranch. He was so concerned about the bad press he deservedly received that he complained to the Register Editors and is also in the process of trying to depose Norberto Santana of Voice of OC in order to try to force him to divulge privileged information. One can only imagine what he will try to do with this next firestorm that's about to hit him...
As for Lalloway, this arrangement has so many pitfalls and conflicts of interest for him and the city of Irvine that it's hard to see how he can pretend to be an effective voice on the council anymore. The city has many past, present, and potential future legal issues with the county. He won't be able to legally participate in any of these. He also won't be able to advise Spitzer on anything relating to Sheriff issues(due to litigation the city has with the Musick facility), OCTA, or OCFA. What exactly will he be able to do that won't present a conflict of interest for the constituents he was elected to represent?
This Spitzer/Lalloway kabuki dance is a mess! It's a windfall for them and a rip off for the taxpayers - not to mention the 3rd District constituents who would be better served with two or three qualified staff than a dime-a-dozen divorce attorney. Maybe Lalloway is going to resign his council position. Who knows? We do know that he can't serve two masters in this current arrangement.
Lastly, Spitzer is claiming that Lalloway has Irvine's city attorney approval of this arrangement. I know this to be categorically false. Lalloway has not spoken to the city attorney about this as of this morning. Irvine has a strong lobbying ordinance which anyone can read here. Quoting from the lobbying ordinance...
What are some of the activities that are specifically unlawful under the Lobbying Ordinance?
Personal obligation of City officials. A person who lobbies or engages another person to lobby, or any other person acting on behalf of such person, shall not do any act, or refrain from doing any act, with the express purpose and intent of placing any City official under personal obligation to such lobbyist or person.
Improper influence. A registrant shall not cause or influence the introduction of any ordinance, resolution, appeal, application, petition, nomination, or amendment thereto for the purpose of thereafter being employed as a lobbyist to secure its granting, denial, confirmation, rejection, passage, or defeat.
False appearances. A person who lobbies or engages another person to lobby, or any other person acting on behalf of such person, shall not cause any communication to be sent to a City official in the name of any fictitious person or in the name of any real person, except with the consent of such real person.
Prohibited representations. A person who lobbies or engages another person to lobby, or any other person acting on behalf of such person, shall not represent, either directly or indirectly, orally or in writing, that that person can control or obtain the vote or action of any City official
Sec. 1-6-104. - City allegiance and proper conduct.
A. Incompatible employment or service. Because of their uniquely important, visible, and elevated status and responsibilities as elected officials, the Mayor and members of the City Council, and by extension their Executive Assistants, shall not engage in compensated employment or service for the purpose of lobbying for any private person or organization before any local agency (county, city or special district) located in the County of Orange.
1. This paragraph A shall not be applicable to lobbying as an in-house employee on behalf of his or her employer (as opposed to a client of the employer).
2. For purposes of this paragraph A, "lobbying" shall mean any oral or written communication (including an electronic communication) to an official of a local agency other than the City, made directly or indirectly, in an effort to influence or persuade the official to favor or oppose, recommend or not recommend, vote for or against, or take or refrain from taking action on any public policy issue of a discretionary nature pending before the official's agency, including but not limited to proposed action, or proposals for action, in the form of ordinances, resolutions, motions, recommendations, reports, regulations, policies, nominations, appointments, sanctions, and bids, including the adoption of specifications, awards, grants, or contracts.
3. Notwithstanding any other provision of this division, this paragraph A shall not become effective until January 1, 2007.
He may have already violated the city lobbying ordinance while he was simultaneously secretly negotiating his new county contract and his threatening to sue the county over the 100 acre parcel at the Great Park that the county wants to develop.
There is simply no way the taxpayers come out ahead with the Spitzer/Lalloway deal. There is simply no way either 3rd District nor Irvine constituents come out ahead with the Spitzer/Lalloway deal. If you take the time to send a brief email and/or make a phone call, you won't have to just HOPE it will just die from a lack of a second(like other bad Spitzer ideas) when the agenda item comes up next Tuesday. You can help GUARANTEE it. Send the email. Make the call.
YOU CAN REACH SPITZER'S OFFICE AT 714-834-3330 TO VOICE YOUR COMPLAINT. YOU CAN ALSO LET ALL BOARD OF SUPERVISORS KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS BY EMAILING THEM AT email@example.com. THIS EMAIL ADDRESS DISSEMINATES YOUR EMAIL TO ALL FIVE SUPERVISORS.
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