“After a closed-door meeting, the Irvine City Council majority Tuesday night found that Mayor Sukhee Kang did not illegally leak details of a confidential discussion when he called a developer, FivePoint Communities CEO Emile Haddad, for clarification of a negotiation point,” according to the Voice of OC.
Irvine Council Members Jeff Lalloway and Steven Choi “continued to call for an independent investigation of the incident.”
Who is Haddad? He is the “the developer who bought the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station – and he is offering to build Orange County Great Park for Irvine, getting the endangered public project done – faster than expected and with a new focus around sports,” according to the O.C. Register.
“Haddad and city officials started negotiating the agreement in January. The deal would enable Haddad to salvage his huge real estate endeavor and allow the city to get the park built after the state yanked $1.4 billion in redevelopment funding.”
“Haddad’s proposal would provide an additional $641 million to improve and temporarily maintain 1,000 of the park’s 1,100 undeveloped acres. The entire park is about 1,300 acres.”
It is rather fishy that Team Agran – comprised of Council Members Beth Krom, Larry Agran and Sukhee Kang, voted to clear Kang. Isn’t that a conflict of interest?
“Under the state’s open meeting law known as the Ralph M. Brown Act, it is illegal for a council member to reveal closed session talks to outside parties,” according to the Voice of OC.
It does appear that Kang violated the Brown Act. But expecting his Council allies to admit this is ludicrous. Choi and Lalloway are right – the California Secretary of State and the State Attorney General need to look at this mess right away.
Kang is currently running for the U.S. Congress. The voters deserve to know if he is a Brown Act violator.