Hinky Coastline Trustee Dave Grant laughs off FPPC fine, offers “no comment” for news story.





The following is from our occasional Coastline Community College District Deepthroat, regarding Trustee Dave Grant (who defeated our friend Lynne Riddle last November.)  This whole thing about laughing off the modest fines you get for breaking election rules and other laws regarding the behavior of public officials reminds me of Dave Ellis’ crack that “It was less than the cost of a red light ticket.”  The cost of doing business, for many of our hinky pols.  Here goes…



Running on a mantra of “How does this decision benefit students” newly elected Trustee David A. Grant was elected to the Board of Trustees in November 2010.  Since that time, it has been learned that Trustee Grant has been fined for failing to disclose properly the contributions that he has received as a candidate.

How could this be? Trustee Grant is a retired college president, someone who is supposed to be a pillar of his community and one that holds the highest ethical standards? Why then, can’t Trustee Grant properly list his contributions with the Fair Political Practices Commission? Does he have something to hide? Is he afraid to show that many of his contributors are vendors of the District, some of whom like the law firm Rutan and Tucker, are enraged that Trustees have shunned their services for other attorneys?

Since joining the Board of Trustees, Mr. Grant has chastised anyone on the dais that has raised questions of the district’s executives, probed, or tried to find the truth in governance matters. He has repeatedly criticized his peers for “micromanaging” and for “outrageous” behavior. He has made veiled threats, and acted in a hostile manner toward his fellow Trustees in public. He has desperately tried in vain, through his connections with the Coast Report (a student newspaper at Orange Coast College) to show a conflict of interest between one trustee and a district lawyer.

Trustee Grant’s ethical breach is one of many sad stories of lapses that have prevailed on the board at Coast over the last two decades.  Former trustee Armando Ruiz double-dipped on his pension and developed a too cozy relationship with top executives, putting a friend, the now deceased Ed Dornan, in a senior management position at the district.  Former trustee Walter Howald spent over $20,000 in travel in some years, even in the midst of the current budget crisis, and abused his power to force district administrators to help him get a community college job, so he could get a “PERS Retirement,” and numerous sources have commented that Mr. Howald did not actually live in the district for a number of years. 

Mr. Grant’s ethical breach continues this sad legacy.  And, with this breach, the question has to be asked of Mr. Grant: “How does this benefit students”?   How can one credibly govern when one cannot even follow the basic laws and requirements of the office he holds?

Since 2007, reformist Trustees Lorraine Prinsky, Jim Moreno, and Jerry Patterson have brought many badly needed changes to the dais at Coast: they have brought forward a code of ethics, reduced bloated executive salaries, sharply reduced executive and trustee travel, reinforced Brown Act compliance and directed a complete review of all district policies to ensure compliance with accreditation and regulatory standards.  For all of their hard work and dedication to the students of the district, they have been wrongly accused by the likes of Mr. Grant and the corrupt district bureaucrats that support him as “micromanagers” when in fact, these three trustees have set policy direction that protected the interests of taxpayers and students.

If Mr. Grant has his way, the hard work of these individuals will be undone, and the Coast District will return to a culture of “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” – a culture that promotes croynism, nepotism, corruption, and a flagrant disregard for the needs of students.   Mr. Grant’s sanction by the Fair Political Practices Commission is a reminder of the corrupt ways of the past, and a wake-up call that he must be stopped!

Original Independent story

April 11, 2011 | 3:16 p.m.

Coast Community College District Trustee David Grant was fined $200 for not disclosing money spent by the deadline during the November elections.

The Committee to Elect David Grant Trustee 2010, of which he was the treasurer, failed to disclose monies spent in a timely manner in a pre-election statement for the period ending Oct. 16, 2010, the Fair Political Practices Commission, or FPPC, decided Monday.

Grant could not be immediately reached for comment.

Candidates are required to keep detailed lists of campaign contributions received and monies spent that must be submitted periodically throughout the election period.

A complaint was made to the FPPC that Grant had run several color ads in local newspapers, including the Daily Pilot, and sent out glossy mailers without reporting the costs on his pre-election statement for that period, according to the official complaint.

The Newport Beach resident served as Orange Coast College president from 1989 to 1995 and was elected to the Coast Community College District board in November with 44 % of the votes.
— Britney Barnes

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