In an unusual bit of theater, Larry Agran used the Public Comments period of the July 8th city council meeting to gripe about Mayor Choi’s agenda management and to enter the Great Park Audit billing records into the public record.
These billing records mostly tell the expected story, which I’ll expand below. But at the end of 158 unredacted pages describing hundreds of thousands of dollar of charges, three invoices from Ace Attorney Services for piffling amounts are heavily redacted. These appear to be copying and document delivery charges. Why? Why in the midst of several hundred thousand dollars of billing, all unredacted, would the audit committee need to redact a $14.95 delivery fee? And why redact a customer number?
Is this normal? or is someone getting a copy of the proceedings that the Audit Committee wants to hide?
Being neither a lawyer nor a conspiracy theorist, I ask the OJ community: what’s your guess?
And now for a comprehensive review of those billing records.
The detailed billing records provide a clear road map of where the investigation was going. For example, one can see the Mike Ezlley, Wally Kreutz, and Colleen Clark depositions in progress. Expect to hear about George Urch and possibly Mary Miss as well. Gafcon and Forde & Mollrich get a lot of attention, including certain Gafcon emails.
The total value of the contracts being intensively studied amounts to about $70 million of the total $200 million. Gafcon contract #5759 is proving especially interesting, as it should. After 50 change orders, that contract ballooned from $27 million to over $40 million.
Other contracts receiving scrutiny:
Bellaire landscape contract # 5880 for the Ballon Park: $1,175,100
Gilbert & Stearns contract # 6446 for Electrical work on the Western Park: $347,000
WRNS contract # 6152: $620,000,
WRNS contract # 6379 for the Western Park: $16,582,57
Gafcon contract # 5309 General design work in 2006: $9,575,000
Why do a landscaper and an electrician merit special scrutiny?
One minor surprise is that Ken Smith himself does not appear to have been interviewed, nor does Dick Sims doesn’t turn up in the records. The documented interviewees have been:
The list of companies supplying documents is:
Rutan & Tucker
Forde & Mollrich
Optalytics (fomer CFO Kurt Mowery’s company, registered to a residence in Dana Point)
Ken Smith Landscape Architects
Bovis Lend-Lease (regularly raised objections about billing, according to Ellzey deposition)
Another surprising omission is Brendan McDevitt and his relationship with Bovis Lend Lease. Larry Agran suggested at the January city council meeting that there might be something fishy here. Indeed, Brendan is discussed on pages eight through 10 of the Mike Ellzey deposition. But I can find little in the billing records suggesting the auditors are spending much time on that angle.