The resilient image of Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido has become a bit tarnished over the past year as a result of Grand Jury criticism of a contract award for a multi-million dollar light-rail project, double-dipping on health insurance and car allowance benefits, alleged Brown Act violations, and improper voting on contracts benefiting campaign contributors. But the latest revelation by the LATimes has got Pulido scrambling to wash the mud off of his face.
The story, Santa Ana mayor would receive $500,000 ‘finders fee’ if sale of state buildings goes forward, was posted on Monday afternoon describes the revelations from a deposition by State Treasurer Bill Lockyer related to a lawsuit to stop the pending sale of State buildings.
The allegation about Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido came to light during a deposition three days ago, when attorneys for the opponents questioned state Treasurer Bill Lockyer…Â
During questioning, Lockyer said he had received a phone call from an Orange County attorney who is a friend of his and Pulidoâ€™s. The attorney, Frank Barbaro, told Lockyer that he had been approached by Pulido; the mayor told Barbaro that he was worried about the controversy surrounding the sale of the state buildings.
According to Lockyer, Barbaro said he would ask the treasurer about the sale. Lockyer voted against the transaction, but Barbaro did not know that at the time.
Barbaro â€œsaid Miguel was concerned because he was going to receive a $500,000 finderâ€™s fee if the transaction was consummated,â€ Lockyer testified, according to court documents.
Pulido defended the potential payment, arguing that it was not a â€œfinderâ€™s feeâ€ but rather a â€œsuccess feeâ€ payable only if the deal goes through. His part of the transaction, he said in a telephone interview Monday, was simply to introduce several of the companies involved to each other.
But in a weird twist, that seems rather unbelievable, Pulido contacted the Times a couple hours after their initial story posted to say that he would not be receiving any compensation if the deal went through because some of the original partners had dropped out.
Funny, you would think that someone who stood to gain $500,000 from the sale of state buildings would have more of a grasp on where things were at regarding the deal when the Times initially contacted him. That development, which he apparently learned of after his interview, is a significant reversal of fortune for Pulido. It is also one which would be difficult to prove. What is also significant is the fact that we never would have known about the “deal” if it wasn’t for the lawsuit and resulting depositions.
Her is the link to the entire story.
This revelation raises a reasonable question. How many other such “deals” has Miguel Pulido’s position given him access too? How many other big city mayors in Orange County have realized such personal benefit from their positions? Current disclosure laws make it difficult if not impossible to identify any of these arrangements.