R. Scott Moxley has nailed Irvine Council Member Larry Agran and O.C. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, revealing in his latest OC Weekly post exactly how Rackauckas has been connected over the years to both Agran and Agran’s PR flack, Arnold Forde, who made a fortune doing PR for the O.C. Great Park – which never panned out.
Here are a few excerpts from Moxley’s post:
Thirteen years ago, Tony Rackauckas began his first term as Orange County District Attorney with a series of breathtaking ethical lapses. Rackauckas ordered the agency’s organized-crime detectives to not investigate Newport Beach businessman Patrick N. DiCarlo, his fishing buddy and campaign chairman who had suspicious contacts with East Coast mafia associates. He looked the other way when Southern California apartment-complex magnate George Argyros, one of his ultra-wealthy campaign backers, cheated thousands of low-income tenants out of their security deposits. When British Petroleum’s ARCO service stations ignored for a decade clean-up notices to fix more than 132 massive gas-storage leaks throughout the county, he let the company off without admitting its guilt or paying county residents a nickel for callously polluting our environment and jeopardizing our groundwater supply.
Republican activist Allan Bartlett asked Rackauckas if he had any special relationship with Agran’s political machine, especially Arnold Forde, the media-shy private consultant who grabbed a highly suspicious $120,000-per-month, no-bid contract for more than seven years to do publicity for a public park that still hasn’t been built to spec. He adamantly denied it.
But the DA wasn’t as forthcoming as he should have been. Forde and Rackauckas worked together as close political-campaign associates for as many as four years beginning in the 1980s. At the height of public cries to investigate Agran’s corruption in 2004 and 2005, the two men shared a private lunch. The DA declined my request to outline what they discussed, but Rackauckas adviser Mike Schroeder described the meeting as “just social.”
At the central committee meeting, Rackauckas oddly posed clueless that Forde is Agran’s top consigliere. “I don’t consider [Forde] an enemy or anything,” the DA said in response to a question. “But I know he works for, uh, apparently for, uh, Larry Agran.”
The DA didn’t mention that in 2002, Agran and Forde came to his rescue by critically bolstering his re-election campaign against Wally Wade, a veteran, high-ranking prosecutor. Rackauckas had supported unpopular efforts of the aforementioned soiled apartment magnate Argyros to build an international airport at the mothballed El ToroMarine Corps Air Station near Irvine. Forde and Agran let the DA appear in widely distributed, pro-Great Park slate mailers (Taxfighters Voting Guide, a project of the Voter Education Project) and described him as a “vigorous” law enforcer solidly against the airport.
Click here to read the rest of Moxley’s post.