By NICK GERDA, The Voice of OC
The Orange County Board Supervisors Tuesday formally responded to a grand jury report that alleged a “culture of corruption” in county government, calling the report “selective, one-sided and clearly tailored to reach a predetermined conclusion.”
In their official written response, supervisors — voting 3-0 vote with Supervisor Todd Spitzer abstaining and Vice Chairwoman Pat Bates absent — also rejected the grand jury’s recommendation that they establish an ethics commission that would lay the groundwork for countywide ethics reform and the establishment of an “oversight authority.”
The grand jury’s finding in May that Orange County lacks effective ethics oversight of its public officials was “irresponsibly broad, vague, and not substantiated in the in the report,” the supervisors asserted in their response.
They argued that the existing system of checks and balances works and that spending the money and staff time creating a commission would be “wasteful.”
They did, however, create an ad hoc committee to research whether to contract with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission to provide ethics training and enforce local campaign contribution limits. It came on the suggestion of board Chairman Shawn Nelson.
Spitzer wrote a separate reaction to the grand jury’s findings.
In his response, Spitzer agreed that the county “lacks effective ethics oversight of public officials” and that an independent commission, appointed by a panel of retired judges, should examine ethics bodies across the country.
Spitzer has said that District Attorney Tony Rackauckas helps foster a “tone of tolerance” in Orange County by not having an effective approach to pursuing wrongdoing by politicians.
Source: Voice of OC