On Our Radar for March 9, 2012

Here are some stories in the news today that we’re following.

Councilman Carlos Bustamante - Photo: Chris Prevatt/LiberalOC

Voice of OC — Supervisors Schedule Friday Meeting to Review Bustamante Matter

The Orange County Board of Supervisors will meet in a special closed session Friday for a performance evaluation of CEO Tom Mauk that will focus specifically on the handling of sexual harassment allegations against Carlos Bustamante, according to the Orange County Register.

The meeting follows revelations by Voice of OC that supervisors will meet to consider whether they should refer the allegations to Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackaukas for a criminal investigation. The meeting, originally scheduled for Monday, was moved up in response to the Voice of OC story.

Sharon Quirk-Silva (Photo: Chris Prevatt)

Orange Juice Blog — Sharon Quirk-Silva takes out papers to run against Chris Norby in AD-65

Fullerton Mayor Sharon Quirk Silva has been spotted at the Registrar of Voters office today taking out papers to run against incumbent Chris Norby in AD-65.  She will have to file 40 valid nominating signatures by Friday at 5:00 to be placed in the June 5 primary ballot.  Quirk-Silva had been expected to run for re-election to City Council in November, meaning that a run for Assembly would end her time on council.

The new assembly district, covering Fullerton, La Palma, Buena Park, Cypress, Stanton, and Anaheim southwest of I-5, has the closest margin in the state between Democratic and Republican voter registration, tilting less than one point in the favor of Democrats.  Other than Fullerton, it is new territory for Norby — as well as, of course, for Quirk-Silva.

OC Register — OCERS objects to Stanford study

Sometimes, in the course of reporting a story, we at The Watchdog feel as if we’re watching a wicked game of tennis. Boing! Boing! Boing!The ball rockets from one side of the court to another.

And so we found ourselves managing a rather detailed and technical exchange of “You’re wrong,” “No, YOU’RE wrong!”  between the Orange County Employees Retirement System and researchers at Stanford University, which we bring to you here in its entirety.

Voice of OC — Conflict Questions Raised On Water Official’s Desal Vote

Last month, Fred Ameri was among five members of the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board who voted unanimously to approve a pollutant discharge permit for Poseidon Resources’ proposed desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

Ameri has also been — until his somewhat impromptu retirement Thursday — a senior vice president at Irvine-based RBF Consulting, a large civil engineering consulting firm that has made hundreds of thousands of dollars on studies for the proposed plant.

Questions have been raised over Ameri’s vote, given the firm’s extensive work on desalination projects, including the Huntington Beach facility’s environmental impact reports.