‘OC Power Authority’ Hit with $2 Million Fine

We’ve had our differences with Irvine Councilmember Lonesome Larry Agran, but it’s hard to begrudge him the sense of vindication he must be feeling right now. He’s the only member of the Council, as I understand it, who is not responsible for this bomb going off in the Irvine budget.

Allies of Farrah Khan Mike Carroll and Anthony Kuo had the bad luck to have a nice photo of them our archives that we could use to illustrate this story. Couldn’t find one with Agran and Khan.

From the de facto if not de jure Agran publication Irvine Community News and Views comes this story exulting in the OC Power Authority shooting off its own foot with a blast aimed from the top of its own head. Here’s the lead — with their photo, fairly used without permission, but if they want us to we’ll take it down (have Harvey contact me) — with some staid reporting that almost masks the chortling that you can hear in the background:

Click on the photo to go to the story. Man, May 2022 sure is getting its licks in all over the county, West, South, and Central!

And hell yes, I checked out their link to the Public Utility Commission’s list of fines, and it’s true! Scroll all the way to the bottom to see the fine, just a rounding error below $2 million. The problem is that it turns out that you can’t just start a power company, switch customers to it, and not have enough power to get them through year with uninterrupted service. Or rather you can, but there will some serious consequences, of which the fine is just the first.

(However did Brian Probolsky, with all of his vast experience, allow this to happen?)

The second main point in the article is that the Irvine City Council is not allowing Agran to place even discussion items on its agenda — a trick also used in Anaheim, and one that leaves Agran even more secure against any consequences here — which means that he had to announce this calamity during his allotted three minutes of discussion. That is the sort of nasty that truly blows up in one’s face, in that the dungeon into which they thought they were placing him turned out to be the only nearby bomb shelter.

As an aside, as people know there was fake news going around that Dan C’ski. was arrested by the FBI. I still don’t think that it’s true, but it’s the best explanation I can imagine for why he missed this huge story in his own backyard! That, or maybe Melahat doesn’t want it to be covered and still has influence on the Council. Or both! I want it to be both!

Does this impact Huntington Beach — where lovelorn Poseidon Desal proponent Mike Posey just stepped away early from his position representing Surf City on the Board, or Buena Park, or Fullerton, all of whom also agreed to sign up with OCPA? Opinion online seems to suggest that Irvine is covering any debt by itself, as this was an Irvine initiative / literal-power-grab / The Music Man-style vaporware con; I don’t know that any of their residents actually got to the point of being signed up. (Even if they did, I would think that fraud claims about Irvine’s trying to sell green power — still a laudable goal, as much so as 76 trombones for the city’s band, or a new monorail!, but only actually worthy of respect if they can, you know, make it happen! — would such up as much or more of the city’s reserves than the fine.)

We’ll leave the heavy lifting about that question to our friends at the Voice of OC, who had an interesting story about Farrah Khan trying to throw Melahat to the wolves (when she should have known that the mountain lions were a better bet!), but the story doesn’t mention OCPA at all, which many people say (see, we go beyond “some people say” here!) was a Melahat project from the beginning. “Wherever there’s money to be made…” as the saying begins. That investigation should start almost as soon as they read this story — and I’m sure it will be great! We’ll link here for the prose from the pros once it appears.

I don’t know what Irvine’s reserves are, but I’d like to think that bankruptcy is not in the offings. And Irvine citizens are less likely than most to march on City Hall with torches and pitchforks! But let’s get real about something: if Irvine had to sell off assets, it would probably be just the Irvine Company and Five Point buying them, and there’s a possibility that one or both companies could have at least abetted this disaster, and IF SO that would make their capitalizing on any fire sale a bit more dicey.

We’ll have more as soon as our Irvine sources throw it our way!

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.)