The heat’s still on. First District County Supervisor Janet Nguyen, the Orange County GOP’s Local Elected Official of the Year, has been fingered AGAIN by the union-funded Voice of OC for conspiring with two CalOptima Board members to ignore a Federal audit critical of their leadership: CalOptima Leaders Shelved Critical Audit. Tracy Wood reports:
The move killed a chance to fix at least some potential problems as much as a year before federal auditors discovered one of CalOptima’s programs posed a “serious threat to the health and safety” of participants. According to meeting records and emails, Nguyen and CalOptima board Vice Chairman Lee Penrose, who is president and CEO of St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton, put off making a decision on which firm to hire. County Health Care Agency Director Mark Refowitz, who became board chairman during the process, didn’t act to ensure that the work was done.
Wood’s excellent piece is over 2,000 words, and thoroughly details the history of Nguyen’s and her cronies’ obfuscations, delays and potential Brown Act violations as they hid their malfeasance and management ineptitude at the County’s health care provider for the indigent and illegal. The Orange County Register hasn’t a clue about the shenanigans at CalOptima, but thankfully the more motivated Voice of OC has made a great effort to uncover how badly Supervisor/CalOptima Board Member Nguyen is at administering that for which she has significant responsibility. Due to these issues, Nguyen’s BOS peers also recently decided she must be chaperoned at CalOptima and have assigned Supervisor Todd Spitzer to join her on the CalOptima dais.
the State Senate. Two things are apparent: 1) We can’t afford Nguyen’s incompetence and corruption in representing a large part of the OC in Sacramento and 2) the Democrats and Jose Solorio, their candidate for the 34th, should have a field day with all the press that Janet is collecting at CalOptima and for her adventures in fundraising from their vendors as she is ALSO being investigated by the FBI. Solorio and the Democrats will easily leverage Nguyen’s issues against the recent transgressions of Democrat State Senators Leland Yee, Rod Wright and Ron Calderon.
With strong support expected from the labor unions, and particularly the Voice of OC’s bosses at the OCEA (which explains why the VofOC is all over this and the Reg isn’t — not that we’re complaining), Solorio will have plenty of money to advertise Janet’s improprieties all over the 34th District.
With the three still-serving (at least, drawing salaries) State Senators either indicted or convicted, perhaps OC GOP boss Scott Baugh might be spoiling the party’s current advantage in perceived ethical conduct by promoting Nguyen for Senate just as she’s being indicted or taped in a perp walk at the Federal Courthouse in our own Civic Center. This perception of ethical Republican conduct also assumes everyone’s forgotten about Mike “Drippy” Duvall.
Baugh (who is coveting Mimi Walters’ Senate seat after she’s likely elected to Congress) and Company have also stepped on the other Republican SD34 candidate‘s air hose per Martin Wisckol at the Register last week: GOP gives to a candidate it wants to lose. This is unfortunate and uncalled for — Dr. Pham is a decent, honest man and deserves some respect for his years of loyalty to the Republican Party. Pham also views his own Vietnamese community as home — Nguyen sees it as an exploitable demographic as her married name is Bonikowski.
Long-time, loyal OC Republicans ought to be tired of this by now — if Janet Nguyen is the best the Party can do, there’s no hope at making any progress toward ever again achieving any control in Sacramento — we’ll be a Blue State for as long as it takes the Democrats to relieve us of what’s left of our money and dignity.