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Wednesday, August 25, 2004

High Drama in Irvine Last Night

Last night was one of the most surreal moments in Irvine's 33 year history. As they say, "politics make for strange bedfellows". This was definately on display night at the city council meeting. For those that aren't familiar with the story, recently it has come to the attention of council member Chris Mears ,who by the way ran on a slate with mayor Agran back in 2000, that Mayor Larry Agran's political consultant and former Irvine city council member himself Ed Dornan, was lobbying for a public utility for the city of Irvine. Mr Dornan had bragged to Mr Mears and Agran that he stood to benefit from this to the tune of possibly seven figures! Well the Drama started when Mr Dornan himself went to the well of the council chamber and started rattling off how he is such a great citizen,blah,blah,blah. When he was through, council member Christina Shea started asking him a few questions. After a couple of hard ones, Mr Dornan left the well while Mrs Shea continued to question him. He would not answer her questions and left a carefully worded statement that said he didn't have a financial interest in the ENCO project. Well the high drama started then when Mrs Shea asked city manager Allison Hart if during her meetings with Mr Dornan if he ever told her that he had a vested financial interest in making sure the ENCO deal goes through. Mrs Hart was put in a difficult spot, but answered "yes he did tell me that he stood to benefit". BUSTED! You could hear a collective gasp in the chamber by everyone that was present. Mr Agran should be ashamed of himself. As Mr Mears said, "what you did Larry was not illegal, but it doesn't pass the smell test". Mr Agran had tried to filibuster the whole night by having presentation after presentation and skirting the key issue of why this was agendized by council member Ward in the first place. Needless to say I think the utility deal is dead now. They ended the meeting by voting 3-2 to direct the city attorney to hire an outside counsel to get to the bottom of the matter.Here is the link for Scott Moxley's write up of the evening


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