Greg Smith, a former Irvine City Council member and former IUSD trustee, and Pat Rodgers, a former Irvine Police office and failed candidate for City Council, have failed to pay the city and the city’s lawyers back more than $40,000 in taxpayer dollars and legal fees spent when the pair filed a politically motivated lawsuit against the City of Irvine last year.Â Smith and Rodgers were ordered to pay $20,713 to the city and $21,635 to Maguire to cover legal fees and court costs with the decision coming at the end of March this year.Â
Payments were due in 60 days.Â
The Liberal OC confirmed through the city’s public information office that the city has not yetÂ been paid. Its coming up on 90 days.
Both Smith and Rodgers are political allies of current Irvine City Council members Christina Shea and Steven Choi, and published reports in the OC Register indicate that Council member and then-mayoral candidate Christina Shea, in a court filing,Â urged the pair to file the motion because she felt the Irvine city council’s progressive majority was “doing something illegal.”Â Note to Smith and Rodgers — never take legal advice from Christina Shea.
In January 2008, the Irvine City Council reached an agreement with Maguire Properties over a developmentÂ dispute.Â Shea and ChoiÂ walked out of the meetings saying the meeting was being held in private and, therefore, in violation of the Brown Act.Â Â
The suit filed by Smith and Rodgers, with the encouragement of Council member Shea, claimedÂ the settlement limited public review by allowing future proposals from the developer to be handled administratively instead of through publicÂ hearings.Â City planning officials and Maguire disputed that, saying the settlement did not change how future projects would beÂ approved.
The City Council met in private three times to discuss the settlement, starting in October 2007. Maguire did not sue the city, but their lawyers suggested they would take legal action prompting the council to meet in private. Meetings conducted with the city’slawyers present.
â€œThis actually benefited the city to the tune of $10 million, and not one iota of our planning process has been modified in the process,â€ said then Mayor Beth Krom, who defended holding the meetings inÂ private, told the LA Times.
Shea and Choi actually walked out of two meetings over the issue, abdicating their responsibilities as council members.
What prompted me to ask about this was an exchange with Pat Rodgers on Red County in regards to Council member Beth Krom’s attendance at a meeting in Lake Arrowhead; here’s the exchange:
What Lt. Pat fails to realize here is that it’s not “he who has the gold rules.” It’s he who follows the law.Â By walking out on the meeting, with city lawyers present, Shea and Choi demonstrated their lack of trust in the city’s lawyers to provide the council with sound legal advice.Â If Irvine’s lawyers are incompentent, why not say so?Â This lawsuit was all about generating headlines and promoting a pattern of thought from Shea and Choi that so many decisions are made by the Irvine council majority in secrecy.Â But, as Ronald Reagan once famously said, “facts are stupid things.”
If there is so much evidence of corruption against the Progressive Council majority going on for so long, I have to wonder why there have never been charges?Â Curt Pringle has an impressive machine in Anaheim, yet Republicans seeking to regain power in Irvine speak of Curt in glowing terms while dragging Irvine’s Democrats through the rumor mill.Â And despite all this, the city is the FBI’s safest for the fifth year in a row, the school district (despite its lack of funding comparable to other districts) is among the state’s best, the local economy is strong and the city’s environmental initiatives are among the nation’s best.
So my questions are pretty simple:
Why haven’t Smith and Rodgers paid their fees on time?
Why haven’t council members Shea and Choi demanded taxpayers get their money back?Â Why are Shea and Choi silent on this?
So Pat “hasn’t put his checkbook where his mouth is” and neither has Greg Smith.Â And for being such a champion of Irvine taxpayers that Christina Shea portrays herself to be,Â I don’t see here banging her shoe on the dias demanding that Taxpayers be reimbursed in a timely fashion for a lawsuit she encouraged.