Daly Audit Open Thread: 433 Problems and 12-D is One

Just one of the topics at issue: 433 Civic Center Drive, Santa Ana. “Hiyo, Silva Family Trust, away!”

This Voice of OC article — based this 77-page Critical Impact Audit — has reignited discussion of Tom Daly’s actions as City Clerk-Recorder.  I don’t plan to do original research on this for lack of time, but I know that others are interested, so now we’ll have a place for discussion.

Read the story first.  I’m porting over some of the comments from there as a starter for this particular batch of sourdough.  (I do this because while the Voice is a superior publication to ours in many ways, we get a lot more action in our comments section.  They’re welcome to ours as well!):

From the masked and ubiquitous commenter beelzebub:

It’s so funny how these lapdog internal auditors (IA) who work for the republican stupidvisors shovel the dirt on their political enemies (Daly – democrat) and never seem to find any dirt on their own kind.

Look at all the republican saturated scandals we’ve seen in county government in the last 7 years or so. The IA comes up completely blind on those. Total silence. I think Daly was the only democrat who held a political office in OC government. About as rare as a 2-headed goat. And look at how the attack dogs from the IA dug up tons of filth on him! Probably just following standing orders from the kings and queens.

I’ve tried so hard. But I can’t find one honorable characteristic connected with the Hall of Administration. Nothing but political games and bezzle and deception and lots and lots of government policy driven by self-interest. Just reprehensible.

Full disclosure: I’m neither a Republican or a Democrat. Totally non-partisan. A free man.

You’re Correct posted at 11:01 pm on Fri, Oct 11, 2013.

Also another report finding fault with someone who’s no longer around. And I find it conveniently curious that the report comes out after daly votes for the county’s leg fix to $ issues. Bogus.

David Zenger posted at 8:34 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013 [+ a follow-up]

The purchase of 433 W. Civic center Drive was caused by deception alright, but there had to be a high level of willful ignorance on the part of the Board and their staff in 2008. How else could a tear down be purchased for $2,100,000 when it had been sold for $1,500,000 at the top of the market in 2005?

The worst kept secret in Building 10 was that restricted Fund 12D revenues were finding their way back to the General Fund – every year.

P.S. the building has been empty for almost 6 years, a testament to something, but clearly not the County’s Mission Statement.

beelzebub posted at 9:28 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

“The purchase of 433 W. Civic center Drive was caused by deception alright, but there had to be a high level of willful ignorance on the part of the Board and their staff in 2008. How else could a tear down be purchased for $2,100,000 when it had been sold for $1,500,000 at the top of the market in 2005?”

Excellent point, brother. Naturally the IA missed it. heh. They see only what they want to see or what the kings and queens tell them to see. Trying to convince us that the IA is independent is about as laughable as back in the day when Hollywood tried to convince us that Liberace was straight. heh. Corruption piled a mile deep in a 97% republican county and the only dirt it can find is on a dem who vacated his seat months ago! heh. They must think we’re all snotty nosed 2nd graders out here.

Same with the DA. The County gave the DA over a $million$ for a Public Integrity Union (PIU) about a year ago to prosecute public and political corruption and even with all the dirt exposed by the many OC Grand Jury reports pointing out the pile of stink that you could smell from SanOnofre to the northern tip of Yorba Linda the DA remains clueless. It was not surprise me in the least if they go after Daly the democrat.

These lapdog agencies have to show some production to show some worth. So they go after the low-hanging fruit left by their political enemies. heh. But they circle the wagons for their friends.

I wish you well.

francisco barragan posted at 10:54 am on Sat, Oct 12,

The just completed audit covered 2 years ENDED JUNE 30, 2012.

Since some of the findings arose, because “The errors stemmed from [INCORRECT PROGRAMMING] under the department’s cashiering system, the report states [WHICH COULD STILL BE HAVING AN IMPACT]”, or because of lack of proper controls that could still be affecting the processing of transactions under the NEW Clerk Recorder, it seems that a reasonable, relevant and useful audit period SHOULD HAVE ALSO INCLUDED year ENDED June 30, 2013.

This way those currently responsible for operations obtain FEEDBACK that can help them IMPROVE CURRENT operations, and because this would also reflect a more balanced approach that would help to remove the perception that this was a focus on the WHOM (a former DEMOCRAT Clerk Recorder) rather than a focus on the WHAT and on overall operations, regardless of whether a Democrat or Republican was in charge of operations.

The audit concluded that the acquisition of real property, in March 2008, for about $2.1 million located at 433 Civic Center Drive was a permissible use of the Special Revenue Fund 12D monies, AS LONG AS THE PROPERTY IS USED TO STORE THE APPROPRIATE RECORDS. (Is this the case or will this be case?)

my “dos centavos”

beelzebub posted at 11:40 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

“This way those currently responsible for operations obtain FEEDBACK that can help them IMPROVE CURRENT operations……”

Point missed.

This is not about improving anything.

It’s about hired guns trash talking a political enemy.

Waiting for Tony’s PIU to get involved. 1…..2…..3……

It’s a government of smoke and mirrors in place to serve itself.

David Zenger posted at 11:52 am on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

Francisco, the IA finding of the purchase to be appropriate for 12D was based on old County Counsel opinions from way back, opinions that defy logic or common sense – the final conclusion was that only recorded documents could be stored there. But the building was purchased to be the home of the County Archives, some of which is recorded documents, but much of which is not.

Non-recorded documents would have to pay rent to reimburse Fund 12D.

Daly’s solution was to work on the building piecemeal to make it sort of watertight – under anybody’s radar – and then to store boxes of old paper documents on the first floor and basement slabs in order to contrive to make the building appear useful.

Of course most of the building is obsolete wood frame construction and cannot be burdened with any kind of live load; only a small portion of the building is useful for any purpose.

So the County paid $2,100,000 for 25% of an 8000 sf building in which to put some cardboard boxes.

Greg Diamond posted at 11:10 pm on Sat, Oct 12, 2013.

At one point I may have known the answer to the following question, David, but if so I’ve forgotten:

“So the County paid $2,100,000 for 25% of an 8000 sf building in which to put some cardboard boxes.”


You’re Correct posted at 7:02 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

Dave, the 2008 debacle was dealt with in 2009. Get over it. You piling on this story about blaming a dem after he’s long gone just puts you in cahoots with IA and the 5th floor.

David Zenger posted at 7:20 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

Mr. You’re Correct, sadly that is not the case.

After Moorlach asked Tom Mauk to look into the matter in the spring of 2010, Mauk wrote a memorandum admitting the failure to disclose the damning memo of June 2007; but he insisted that the deal was a “positive outcome” for the County – he also misstated the parking revenue.

In 2012 the building still sat there empty; it was addressed as Part 1 of the IA’s long-overdue audit of Fund 12D.

I am not “piling on a dem” for two good reasons. First, I don’t care about partisan politics; and, two nobody has even tackled Daly yet so I can hardly be accused of “piling on.”

And of course the Supervisors who approved the purchase and who shouldn’t have were all Republicans: Nguyen, Bates, Moorlach, Norby and Campbell.

I thinks it’s safe to say I am not in cahoots with anybody.

Greg Diamond: the previous owner of 433 W. Civic Center Drive was something called the Silva Family Trust.

OCservant-leadership posted at 10:44 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

Follow the money.

This deal = $2.1M to “whom” is the question.

This was a direct order from BOS. Moorlach’s CoS has been trying to “fix” the problem for years. Didn’t he come from Public Works? Don’t the “brothers” network handle all property acquisition (aka as payments to BOS donors with public funds)?

They desperately tried to get records in that building. they strong armed each department to put “official” records in there. Court records, arrest records, welfare records, medical records etc. if a manager refuses or asks too many questions – they are removed immediately & quarenteed.

This scandal demonstrates the BOS play book to gift public funds to donors, kickbacks and how the big brother & little sister network operates.

Thank you VoOC. Please follow the money.

David Zenger posted at 11:32 am on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

Mr./Ms. OC servant-leadership (I love your name, by the way) I don’t think this was a money-to-pals deal, although those are common enough. I think it was just a pride/hubris/stupidity move by Daly. In his desperation to get an Archive/Hall of Fame building he was sold a pig in a poke that he paid for with 12D funds – gfunds that are legally reastricted to “technological improvements.” I don’t know whether Daly personally got the “smoking gun memo” that lay out the cost of rehab; it did go to a raft of RDMD (the old Public Works) staff and of course it went to Jean Pasco, Daly’s “archivist.”

Anyway, a lot of folks went out of their way to make sure the BoS didn’t see the memo. And in the staff report Pasco & Co. passed along the false assertion that the building had been “reasonably maintained.” And somebody in the Real Estate group commissioned and accepted a bogus appraisal based on ridiculous comps.

Nevertheless, no one from the 5th Floor bothered to walk across the street and look at the building, let alone go through it or challenge the appraisal.

No records even went into that building until last year when Daly started doing small improvements under the radar to help avoid detection. Then he moved some boxes in. The problem is that the decrepit first and second floor framing couldn’t support any kind of live, let alone dynamic, loads. So the boxes could only be stored on the partial 1st floor and basement concrete slabs.

And I’ll bet those boxes are still there today.

beelzebub posted at 12:14 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

And my question remains:

When exactly was the last time the “independent” IA did a hit piece on an elected or appointed county Republican official that rises to the level on this one done on Daly the Democrat? Hmmm?

Oh, and if the answer is NEVER – the second part of the question is:


Not enough material???

Smith2 posted at 2:57 pm on Sun, Oct 13, 2013.

Silva Family Trust as in former supervisor Jim Silva? 

I’ll also stir into the mix some comments on the topic from our own current Weekend Open Thread, so that they won’t get so easily lost.

Posted October 12, 2013 at 7:17 PM

Perhaps only I’m late on this, and you were already headed there later, but check out the article about the AUDIT on Tom Daly in V of OC! ( And then come RIGHT BACK here, because i’m sure much will be said about it!) Can’t we only have ONE crisis at a time in OC ? What’s next? Locusts?

[THEN] The article link to one on the original audit (preceding the 12-d fund) has a comment from a ‘Mitt Campbell’ REQUESTING a 12-D audit – anyone know if HE has more to add?

[AND] Zenger’s comment there seemed to be (as usual) informed and literate- maybe (if he’s not already over-occupied!) he’d favor us with some input?

David Zenger
Posted October 13, 2013 at 7:48 AM

Fund 12D was one of many issues that led me to believe the County has developed an expertise when it comes to covering up, ignoring, and diffusing responsibility for egregious behavior.

One of the reasons nobody would talk about it was because over the course of Daly’s tenure millions of restricted 12D revenues found their way into the County’s General Fund.

Meanwhile the decrepit building at 433 W. Civic Center stands there, essentially useless, a mute testament to incompetence, dissimulation, and the joys of spending other people’s money without a trace of accountability.

Thus equipped, let the discussion begin!

About Greg Diamond

Somewhat verbose attorney, semi-retired due to disability, residing in northwest Brea. Occasionally runs for office against bad people who would otherwise go unopposed. Got 45% of the vote against Bob Huff for State Senate in 2012; Josh Newman then won the seat in 2016. In 2014 became the first attorney to challenge OCDA Tony Rackauckas since 2002; Todd Spitzer then won that seat in 2018. Every time he's run against some rotten incumbent, the *next* person to challenge them wins! He's OK with that. Corrupt party hacks hate him. He's OK with that too. He does advise some local campaigns informally and (so far) without compensation. (If that last bit changes, he will declare the interest.)