By R. Scott Moxley
Having exposed Beth Krom’s harebrained January memo–the confidential one that outlined how the Irvine city councilwoman’s pals should manipulate public opinion by dominating citizen-comment portions of televised council meetings–I chuckled at the March 2 hearing on Larry Agran’s refusal to obey a subpoena in the audit of Orange County Great Park corruption. Agran, the 70-year-old Krom mentor who for more than a decade ran City Hall and doled out lucrative, no-bid contracts to his political cronies as park coffers emptied, has been evading his chance to speak under oath for months. In November 2014, voters booted the career politician, who first joined the council nearly four decades ago when Jimmy Carter occupied the White House and a gallon of gas cost 64 cents.
“I don’t know what’s going on here, folks,” Jake Jacobs, a longtime Agran attack dog, told the council at the Agran-less hearing. Jacobs said the “silly [Great Park funding] audit–it’s not an audit, it’s a witch-hunt”–should not cause the city to force a deposition through the court system. “You just jump on him when he doesn’t appear. . . . You just came up with a [deposition] date and said, ‘You have to come here.’ Well, he has a life. He’s a private citizen. He doesn’t have to come on the exact day. Maybe you think he does, but he doesn’t. . . . You’re just trying to get some press here, make him look bad, somehow vilify him.”
As he ranted, Jacobs–stern-faced, arms flailing–couldn’t stick with his message, eventually diving into additional absurdity by admitting he doesn’t want Agran to be held accountable for spending more than $200 million in Great Park funds without constructing a single major feature of the proposed project. “You know he lost the election,” he said. “Why don’t you just let it go and get on with your life, you know, screwing up the city? I just think what you’re doing is ridiculous.”