Smith/Rodgers Pay Up in Irvine

While my politics are certainly liberal, I was always a big fan of radio commentator Paul Harvey’s “Rest of the Story” commentaries.

After our post last week, I’m happy to report the rest of the story.  Former Irvine city council member Greg Smith and former council candidate Pat Rodgers have cut checks to reimburse the city for legals fees associated with a politically motivated lawsuit the pair lost last October. 

The decision was not appealed at the end of March and the pair had 60 days to pay.  As of late May/early June, the city had not been paid back.  The city’s Public Information Office reports the checks came in last week (meaning they were late) but I think everyone is happy that the bill’s been paid.

However, city council member Christina Shea’s encouragement of the pair to pursue legal action against the city remains troublesome.  I have to question where her interests lie — with the party she represents or with the taxpayers of the city.  If she feels the city’s progressive majority is violating the law, well, we taxpayers pay for a city lawyer.  What does it say about the legal services the city pays for (a lawyer who’s advice seems to be backed up by a judge).

This case is about the rule of law, not “who has the gold rules,” as Lt. Rodgers as stated.  The rule of law sided with the taxpayers and the Progressive council majority.

  3 comments for “Smith/Rodgers Pay Up in Irvine

  1. Ltpar
    July 1, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Dan, thank you for setting at least part of the record straight. As usual, you continue to be judicious in the truth. Now, I expect no less from an advocate for Larry and the Gang. Greg Smith and I are clearly the enemy. As a Former Friend of Larry, I join a growing list of people who now see him, Beth and Sukhee for what they are. One day, those numbers will grow to the point of deposing them to oblivion. As Abraham Lincoln stated, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

    First, not sure where you got your information on the law suit, Greg Smith and I filed? Christina Shea had nothing to do with it, nor influenced my decision. I have know Greg Smith for twenty-five years and worked with him on some issues when he was on the Council. Greg asked me if I would participate. I looked at the scenario and felt it was clear that; not only had a Public Hearing not taken place, but settlement of the dispute between Maguire and the City over development fees was as a direct result of a quid pro quo for Maguire Prperties donating $120,000 to Plannig 2020. Planning 2020 then turned around and gave the money to Home Town Voters Guide. Home town Voters Guide then used the $120,000 in the election campaign of Beth Krom and Sukee Kang in 2006. My belief from working in law enforcement for thirty-five years is that, “No man (or gorup) is above the law.” This was why I agreed to join Greg in the law suit. This was back in April 2008, well before the election campaign. Not only was I not thinking about the City Council election but was on a short waiting list to return to Iraq for work. I never discussed the law suit with Christina Shea or Steven Choi. It wasn’t until late August, that unable to find another candidate to run with them, Christina and Steven approached and pursuaded me to join their slate.

    I only met with the attorney Greg had lined up a couple of times. Frankly, he failed to explain the full ramifications of the process, or I would have been out the door in a heart beat. While I believe in being a good citizen, that doesn’t include wasting my family savings, in the process. As they say, “Hindsight is a virture,” and I don’t whine when things don’t go my way. I have accepted this experience as an expensive reminder why Lady Justice wears a blindfold.

    As far as being late on the payment, I had already moved the money from my savings and was prepared to write a check immediately, upon request of the attorney for Maguire and the City. I kept telling our attorney to get me the name of who to make the check payable to and where to send it. With attorneys, nothing is ever a simple matter and as soon as he advised what to do, the check was in the mail the same day. Part of the delay was because the check went to our attorney and from him to the attorney’s for Maguire and the City. Eventually, the City Attorney’s Office got around to sending a check to the City. No excuses offered here for any timelines. I always pay my debts and like an elephant I never forget.

    Sorry to bore you and your Agranista readers with my long winded response, but I felt your comments deserved a response. Now, I am happy to put this unfortunate experience behind me and get on with things.

  2. Dan Chmielewski
    July 2, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Pat — Thanks for paying up. That makes you a stand up guy in my book.

    While you may not feel this was a politically motivated suit, it was encouraged by council member Shea and all you had to do is look at the calendar. To suggest it all mere coincidence, I disagree.

    The reasons for the lateness in payment really don’t matter. I knew there was a judgement with a 60 day deadline to pay. I contacted the city’s PIO office to ask if the payment had been made, and they said “No.” I was out of town for a week and called the following week and there were “no updates” on the case, hence my post.

    If your lawyer didn’t pay on time, you need to take it up with him or her.

    I find it difficult to believe a city official who encourages lawsuits against the city still someone positions herself as a champion of taxpayers. Voters of Irvine know better.

    You can take some satisfaction in the appeals court ruling for Shea and Choi in the Great Park CEO search. I’ll post about that later today.

  3. Dan Chmielewski
    July 2, 2009 at 8:14 am

    Pat — Thanks for paying up. That makes you a stand up guy in my book.

    While you may not feel this was a politically motivated suit, it was encouraged by council member Shea and all you had to do is look at the calendar. To suggest it all mere coincidence, I disagree.

    The reasons for the lateness in payment really don’t matter. I knew there was a judgement with a 60 day deadline to pay. I contacted the city’s PIO office to ask if the payment had been made, and they said “No.” I was out of town for a week and called the following week and there were “no updates” on the case, hence my post.

    If your lawyer didn’t pay on time, you need to take it up with him or her.

    I find it difficult to believe a city official who encourages lawsuits against the city still someone positions herself as a champion of taxpayers. Voters of Irvine know better.

    You can take some satisfaction in the appeals court ruling for Shea and Choi in the Great Park CEO search. I’ll post about that later today.

Comments are closed.