By Kimberly Pierceall
IRVINE – Orange County’s district attorney wants copies of everything the Great Park’s auditor has and continues to collect, as well as the final audit once it’s ready, according to a letter sent from the District Attorney’s Office to the firm of Aleshire & Wynder, legal counsel for the city’s audit investigation.
“A wide range of allegations of misuse of public funds have been made with respect to the planning and development of the ‘Great Park,’” wrote Michael Lubinski, who heads the office’s special projects unit, which oversees public-integrity cases. In the letter, dated Tuesday, he referred to the request for documents – including all interviews and depositions – as part of the office’s review process. “Please contact us if you uncover any possible criminal conduct or suspicious conduct related to your investigation.”
When asked to explain what a “review process” is, District Attorney spokeswoman Farrah Emami said, “at this point, we’re not going to elaborate any further than what’s in the letter.”
The city has spent more than $1 million since July 2013 to pay an auditor, a law firm and a retired judge to dig into how more than $200 million was spent on the Great Park’s development. In sworn depositions, key players including the Great Park’s CEO Mike Ellzey (now assistant city manager) have testified that hired consultants, not the city, ran the show and ran up the bill.