T-Rack’s ‘Private Plane Favors from Favored Accused Drug Dealers’ Story Hits the Air!


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This screenshot from the ABC7 website shown simply to illustrate how they are presenting this important story, not because BWAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHEEHEEHEE!!! or anything like that.

The Voice of OC’s scoop from earlier this week about OCDA Tony Rackauckas and his sidekick Susan Kang-Schroeder failing disclose gifts of private plane travel from supporter Henry Nicholas d’Broadcom has itself risen grandly into the air!  ABC Channel 7 is now featuring the story, with a headline that most political candidates would probably like to avoid:

OC DA Rackauckas faces questions about free travel with OC billionaire accused of drug trafficking

Oof!  But surely the story is not quite that bad, right?  Let’s have a look:

Oof!  OOF!

But is it really fair to refer to executive Nicholas as a “drug trafficker”?  From the story up at the link:

Nicholas, of Laguna Hills, was arrested two weeks ago in Las Vegas on charges of drug trafficking after his girlfriend, Ashley Fargo, was found passed out inside their suite at the Encore.

Detectives in Las Vegas say they found 128 grams of heroin, meth, cocaine and other drugs inside the hotel room. The Clark County District Attorney’s Office tells Eyewitness News the case is still under review, but so far no charges have been filed.

Oof!  OOF!  OOOOF!!!  Although, to be fair, from his photo one can’t rule out the possibility that all of those alleged drugs were for personal use.

Not-Doing-All-That-Well Fargo.

The Nicholas arrest raises the question of whether Nicholas and his girlfriend Stormy Ashley Fargo — even presuming for a moment that this stash was all for personal use and not for importing drugs back into OC or anything like that — decided not to engage on a heroin+ meth + cocaine + other drugs binge until they got to Las Vegas.  Or could it be that this kind of recreation may also have been happening in Laguna Hills and elsewhere in the county … and, if so, whether they have been protected by a sort of “untouchable” status  conferred by their friendship with the not-at-all-untouchable OC District Attorney.  Neither I nor the rest of OJB have any evidence that this is so, except that (1) Racky has a tendency to protect his friends, and (2) the likelihood that this sort of spree would happen for the first time in Vegas, rather than it being one of a series, seems a bit remote.

So, if anyone has any credible information that Laguna Hills (or other) law enforcement officials, or prosecutors, may have known about such apparently epic chemical escapades, let us know about it.  Otherwise we’ll just have to wait for information from the snitch in the jail cell next to Nicholas, if he has or does in fact spent even a half-minute behind bars.

A final note before moving on from the drug binge aspect: a fair-minded observer has to acknowledge the possibility that Nicholas and Fargo are entirely innocent of any wrongdoing here.  Indeed, they might raise a defense that Las Vegas police planted some or all of the drugs in their hotel room, and the Fargo instead passed out after being stung on the lips by as many as four dozen bees.

But the actual big underlying story — which OJB would already be focusing on were it not transfixed by that amazing photo ABC obtained of Nicholas d’Broadcom — is about Rackauckas and his enabler S. Kang getting Favors from the Favored.  In other words, people who are chummy with — or generous towards — Rackauckas seem to have an expectation of getting something in return, and that “something” seems most often to be “nothing,” as in no investigations conducted of him and no charges pressed.  This is taken to arrogant degrees:  Nicholas was already indicted on drug charges, leading to the seizure of this very jet, in 2008, although charges were dropped — who knows why? — in 2010.  What sort of moron prosecutor accepts free travel from this guy on this jet even once — it far outpaces gift limits — let alone, as the unsourced complaint against him alleges, frequently and without disclosure?

Oh wait, that last couple of words reminds me: the actual big overlying story is that the FPPC has received a complaint against Racky over this non-disclosure of gifts.  I have to admit that this part of the story is a little wan.  The reason why we have gift disclosure, says TV’s go-to Legal Ethics source Prof. Jessica Levinson of Loyola Law, is so we know who might be a corrupting influence on an officeholder.  But, frankly, the public hasn’t seemed interested in Rackauckas’s corruption.  From the end of the written KABC story: “Rackauckas was fined $21,000 by the FPPC last year for failing to disclose more than $190,000 he solicited for a non-profit that works to prevent gang violence. 

OOOOOOOOFFFF!  I  follow the guy’s career — I ran against him in 2014! — and if I ever even knew about that fine, I forgot about it.  Someone like Rackauckas relies on that inattentiveness.

Now that I know about it, though, I want to know more.  Why would he have to disclose money that he solicited for a non-profit?  I don’t think that Racky has to disclose gifts to a charity that he doesn’t have a stake in — could be wrong, though I’d be surprised there — so from that can infer that he had some stake — a salary paid to him, his wife Peggy Buff, or another relative, perhaps — in this “gang violence prevention” charity?  If so, was he trying to profit not just politically, but also financially, from opposing gang violence?

I really find thinking about Tony Rackauckas’s possible avenues of corruption to be exhausting.  I just don’t like to have to suspect my District Attorney of being this sort of person.  An acquaintance of mine who was regarding the choices in the DA Top Two came to this conclusion: “At least Todd isn’t corrupt,” and I think that that’s becoming an ever-more powerful basis for voting.  Yeah yeah — “citizen’s arrest at Wahoo Fish Tacos,” “never get between him and a camera,” “insensitive NIMBYism towards the homeless” (as if Racky is any better in that respect) — it would just be nice to have a DA for four years who wasn’t a conniving self-serving corruption sponge.

The election will come down to us Democrats; I just do not see how others won’t. however reluctantly (and I’m no longer reluctant at all), come to the same conclusion.  Not THIS much corruption, please!


About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose worker's rights and government accountability attorney, residing in northwest Brea. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Occasionally runs for office to challenge some nasty incumbent who would otherwise run unopposed. (Someday he might pick a fight with the intent to win rather than just dent someone. You'll know it when you see it.) He got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012 and in 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level, nor do they now. A family member co-owns a business offering campaign treasurer services to Democratic candidates and the odd independent. He is very proud of her. He doesn't directly profit from her work and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he truly hated.) He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)