Voice of OC reporter Adam Elmahrek has delivered an intriguing expose of the influence that former Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle still maintains in the city. In some cases discovered by Elmahrek, it appears that Pringle has danced precariously on the line that prohibited him from lobbying city officials within the year after he left his elected position.
Elmahrek has been digging into the back-room dealings of Anaheim’s elected and non-elected government officials for more than a year. He has exposed the dark underbelly of contract employees directing city business to their own firms and employers resulting in resignations of top officials including a City Manager. His reporting has uncovered efforts of managers to illegally purge government records of all documents that might prove embarrassing to elected officials and management.
His latest series leaves little doubt that Anaheim is a Pay-to-Play city. As the report from Elmakrek demonstrates Curt Pringle is a Master of His Universe.
From Elmahrek’s story:
On Jan. 24, the City Council approved a $158-million subsidy for the developer of two four-star hotels at the city’s GardenWalk center. Tait and Councilwoman Lorri Galloway broke from the council majority and voted against the subsidy. Tait had called it bad public policy that is unfair to other hoteliers in the area.
But at least one of the developers — hotelier Bill O’Connell — was a Pringle client, raising questions from some opposed to the subsidy about whether Pringle had helped secure the council votes to approve the deal.
One City Hall source said that Pringle was seen with Murray and O’Connell at The Ranch Restaurant & Saloon in Anaheim the night of the Council vote, celebrating the subsidy deal with dinner and drinks. It remains unclear what Pringle was hired to do.
Elmahrek has found that Pringle’s influence peddling is not just limited to Anaheim.
Last July, seven months after Pringle left OCTA, he sat down for a breakfast meeting with OCTA Deputy CEO Darrell Johnson and the top executive at the Anaheim Transportation Network, a small transit agency — and Pringle client — that provides public transportation to Anaheim’s resort district.
By January, OCTA awarded the transportation network a $185,000 contract to develop an OCTA program known as rideshare, a planned outreach drive to encourage the public to reduce its carbon footprint by biking, walking, carpooling or taking public transit to work. Two subcontractors, including Curt Pringle and Associates, which is to receive $37,000 under the contract, are carrying out the vast majority of the work.
Read the two-part series here: